Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Stuart glad enforcer Peluso 'didn't punch me in the face'

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Winnipeg Jets are taking another look at the 'lower-body' injury that has shelved left-winger Evander Kane.

Coach Claude Noel said Kane -- who left last Friday's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and did not dress in the win over the New York Rangers on Monday -- was to undergo some tests here in Florida.

"We should have a little bit of an idea of where we stand there (Thursday)," said Noel. "(The tests) help you to be able to assess him. It gives him comfort and us a direction on the therapy and some of the treatment we're doing and are we heading in the right direction.

"It's just something we do with everybody after awhile if you're seeing some improvement or not. It's just covering yourself."

Kane broke an 11-game goal drought with his seventh, and the game-winner, in last week's win over New Jersey.

-- TESTY-TESTY: Mark Stuart and winger Anthony Peluso had a disagreement at Wednesday's practice at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, with the two dropping the gloves and pushing each other before teammates and Noel intervened prior to punches being thrown.

The incident lasted all of 10 seconds and the two teammates patched things up afterward, but the intensity was a welcome sign to Noel & Co. less than a week after he implored the club to crank up the attention to detail prior to Friday's loss in Philly.

"It was nothing. It was just a hard, physical practice," said Stuart. "We were playing hard and we got into it a little bit."

Stuart paused for a second before saying with a smile about his dust-up with the team's heavyweight: "I guess I felt like getting knocked out today, but I'm glad he was nice and didn't punch me in the face."

"I see nothing wrong with it," he continued. "That stuff used to happen a lot more. It doesn't happen too much anymore, but that that stuff used to happen a least once a week years ago. There's no issue there. We talked after, it's all good."

Added Peluso: "He's a pretty high-intensity guy in games and practice, that's what he brings," said Peluso. "I'm a guy that likes to play on the edge as well and sometimes, that's going to happen. We talked about it, it's fine. Everything is good.

"The more guys you can bring with that intensity, the better it is for your team."

Noel wasn't the least bit upset with the dust-up, especially if it translates into a solid performance in today's matchup with the Florida Panthers.

"That's just competition. Peluso plays that way and it's good he practises that way," he said. "(Stuart) is an intense player... that's just a lot of love being shown between two players."

-- GETTING THE CALL: Jets centre prospect Andrew Copp was one of 26 players named Wednesday to the preliminary U.S. roster for the 2014 world junior hockey championship. The University of Michigan sophomore was Winnipeg's fourth-round (104th overall) pick in the 2013 draft.

-- FYI: The Jets have been outshot in all four games of their current road trip, but are 3-1... Winnipeg is now 7-2-1 vs. the Eastern Conference this season... Blake Wheeler's next goal will be the 100th of his career... Ondrej Pavelec has recorded a save percentage of .947 and 1.72 goals-against average over his last four starts.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2013 D3

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