December 10, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
DRAG your finger down the National Hockey League penalty-kill rankings -- way down -- and you'll find the Winnipeg Jets at the very bottom, 30th.
The Jets have been short-handed 27 times through eight games this season and given up 11 goals -- a kill rate of 59.3 per cent. By comparison, the New York Islanders are first overall after giving up just one goal in 25 short-handed situations.
And so after a three-game road trip in which the Jets were scored on eight of 16 times, it only stands to reason that a good chunk of Sunday's return to practice featured considerable attention to the penalty kill. There will be further video work today and expect the same attention to detail to be cranked up before Tuesday's home date with the Florida Panthers.
"We're just trying to clarify some things," said head coach Claude Noel. "I mean, when you have given up as many goals as we have in the last three games on penalty killing you have to go over some things. I don't think we want to continue on at the clip we are going, percentage-wise. We're looking at getting quite a bit better at that, but that's an area of concern right now, no question."
OUCH UPDATE: Four players were absent from Sunday's practice: Zach Redmond, Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little. Noel said Redmond, Ladd and Little were all maintenance-related, while Byfuglien, who tweaked something off-ice while preparing for last Thursday's game in Florida and has missed the last two games, is listed as day-to-day.
"We're still trying to sort out where his status will be for Tuesday," said Noel. "He tweaked something when he was doing something off-ice that created the problem that we're trying to get through. He was getting prepared."
And that's all there is to it, Noel added.
"We're aware of it, we were there. It was all in the preparation stages of getting prepared for a game. You're making up stories if you're looking for something else there."
TRACKING ALERT: The St. John's IceCaps reassigned D Cody Sol to the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL. A fifth-round draft pick by Atlanta in 2009, Sol -- 21 -- appeared in seven games with the IceCaps after being called up in December.
Meanwhile, former Jet defenceman Randy Jones signed a professional tryout contract with the AHL Oklahoma City Barons.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 4, 2013 C3