December 4, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Mark Scheifele, scratched for a fourth straight game by the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night, thinks he might have lost the trust of his coach.
"Talking to Claude (Noel, Jets head coach) about the game, I had one or two turnovers and that was my thing," Scheifele said from his press-box perch Thursday night while the Jets played the Florida Panthers.
"I don't know if it is a big thing that took me out the lineup but I've watched the video and gone over my games and I think I haven't done a lot of things bad.
"But it's a tough situation right now. I can't focus on the past as much. I can only focus on what I can do to help myself."
If Scheifele plays his sixth NHL games this season, the first year of his entry-level contract would kick in. He's played three, been out for four straight and said he's not in the loop as to the plan to keep him or send him back to junior.
The team has said next to nothing publicly, careful not to criticize the 19-year-old centre who's been used at right wing.
"I'm not sure what's happening so I take it day by day, do whatever I can to benefit myself as a hockey player and just use that mindset," Scheifele said.
He said Thursday he was stressed for a day or two when he was scratched for the first time last Friday at home against Pittsburgh.
"The first few games I got scratched, I'm like, 'What's going on?' But it's not in my hands or my control. I just do what I know I can do," he said.
Scheifele said he's doing everything he can in practice to show Noel and the team he wants to play.
"I try to make moves, show them what I can do, try to work my hardest and do what the coach wants," he said. "I drive the net, work hard in the corners, work hard against older guys, stuff like that, and I obviously try to catch their eye so I can get another chance.
"That's all I can really do, work hard in the gym and work hard in practice."
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Zach Redmond's first NHL game, Thursday night against Florida, required minutes, not just a fill-in role.
Redmond, 24, but a pro less than two years, was thrown right into the deep end, playing more than eight minutes in the second period.
He had 20:56 of ice time on the night.
"Just play simple. Let the puck do the work. Just play simple and don't chase the game, let the game come to you," said Jets coach Claude Noel Thursday morning, asked what he'd counsel a rookie before his first NHL game.
Redmond said he was more than excited to get into action since making the team out of training camp.
"I talk to (Paul) Postma quite a bit because we're in somewhat similar situations," he said. "He's been helping me quite a bit. Everyone's been saying just do what got you here."
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2013 C2