Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Spotlighted: 55 MARK SCHEIFELE

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 HIS NUMBERS:

Goals: 0 Assists: 0 Pts: 0

 

HIS ICE TIME:

13 shifts totalling eight minutes, 40 seconds

First period:

How's this for a big bang to start the game? Working on the Jets' so-called 'fourth' line with Jim Slater and Chris Thorburn, this trio scores the first goal of the game less than two minutes into the contest. But the other five shifts of the period, by and large, are inconsequential and Scheifele's ice time amounts to just 2:58.

Second period:

Limited ice time for Scheifele -- after 40 minutes he had the lowest ice time of any player on either team.

Third period:

As head coach Claude Noel started moving bodies around to get some of his top guns firing, Scheifele took some turns on the right side of Alex Burmistrov and Alex Ponikarovsky and did manage a scoring chance that was gobbled up by Bruins' netminder Tuukka Rask.

WHAT WE LIKED:

One of Scheifele's big issues at the World Juniors in Russia was how easily he was knocked to the ice. But while that was an issue a bit in the Ottawa loss, he's improving significantly in that area. Playing a different role on the Jets' fourth line, he still generated some chances while being sound defensively. In his limited time he had one shot, one hit and was one-for-one in the faceoff circle.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE:

The Jets have three more games before they have to make a decision on whether to keep their 19-year-old prospect or send him back to Barrie of the OHL. Scheifele certainly hasn't jumped off the page, but it's hard to be critical of his game given he is playing right wing, not centre and that he is working on what is the Jets checking line.

SYNOPSIS:

Given all the line juggling the Jets have done in an effort to get some of their top-nine forwards going, it might be time for Scheifele to get some real minutes on the first or second lines to make an honest evaluation of where his game is. If he doesn't, then management has to decide whether he's heading back to the OHL or will grow his game in the bigs.

 

--Ed Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2013 C3

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