Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets right-winger heating up, on and off the ice

  • Print
Winnipeg Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler (26) has been scoring of late but says the way he prepares and plays remains consistent whether he's in a slump or not.

TREVOR HAGAN / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Winnipeg Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler (26) has been scoring of late but says the way he prepares and plays remains consistent whether he's in a slump or not.

It's an outburst that has helped the Winnipeg Jets win two of their last three games, but Blake Wheeler didn't see the need for celebration on Monday.

The Jets were back at work, skating at the MTS Iceplex ahead of tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues at the MTS Centre and fresh from a day off that followed their 4-2 road trip through the Eastern Conference.

In the last three games of the trip, Wheeler had two goals and two assists.

"We did some good things," Wheeler said after Monday's practice. "The games we played well, we picked up victories. And the ones we didn't play well, we didn't.

"I think it was pretty cut-and-dried, black-and-white the way we played."

The Jets' top-line right-winger added for emphasis, that he wasn't being overly glum: "I think you take more positives out of it than the other way. I don't think we're satisfied. I think we thought we could have maybe taken one or two more but four out of six is definitely good."

'The way I prepare and the way I go about my business is to help this team win every single night and I take pride in the way I do that and I sleep well at night knowing that I do my best every single day'

-- Blake Wheeler

Monday's inquiries, given the team's first appearance at home in more than two weeks, also turned to Wheeler's individual challenges.

He embarked on the road trip in goal-scoring slump, which finally ended at 14 games in New York with an empty-net goal to seal a win over the Rangers.

During the drought, Wheeler wasn't altogether unproductive. He had eight assists in that period.

Saturday in Tampa, his first-period goal was the 100th of his career. And he set up the play that resulted in Mark Scheifele's overtime winner in the 2-1 decision.

"It was important," Wheeler answered to an individual-play question. "I had a part in both goals so it was important."

On the matter of consistency, both personal and from a team angle, Wheeler took this strong stand: "The way I prepare every day doesn't change in the last three years. That's going to show up differently night in and night out. But the way I prepare and the way I go about my business is to help this team win every single night and I take pride in the way I do that and I sleep well at night knowing that I do my best every single day.

"It may not look like that on the ice sometimes and that goes for everyone but if you go about your business and show up and prepare to help this team win, then hey, that's all you can really do."

It was put to the six-year NHL veteran that he appeared a bit frustrated on Monday.

"Do I? Well, that's your opinion," he replied.

The matter of the Jets' plight -- a 14-13-4 record for 32 points in 31 games and currently seven points below the playoff line -- is not lost on Wheeler or his teammates heading into this three-game week at home.

"That should be the motivation," he said. "We haven't accomplished anything. We're far away from achieving anything and that should be motivation enough."

And on the road trip having provided some sought-after consistency in the team's game?

"Not really," Wheeler said. "We're not there yet."

If nothing else, the recent road trip has provided a little more clarity on what works for the Jets and what doesn't.

It's worth noting it's always easier said about what should happen in games than done because there are two teams on the ice.

"I think we're getting to a point where we know it's black-and-white," Wheeler said. "We play a certain way, we'll give ourselves a good chance to win every night. If we don't then we're not going to. We take confidence in the fact that if we're on our game, we feel like we can play and beat anyone in the league."

The Blues, currently at 19-6-3, are up next as the Jets return to a Western Conference and Central Division agenda this week.

"They're one of the best teams in the league," Wheeler said. "I think we match up decently against them. I think they've brought out good games from us. So it's going to be a good challenge tomorrow."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2013 D2

History

Updated on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 6:47 AM CST: Replaces photo, changes headline

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Eddie the fat cat has dropped two pounds on diet

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.
  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Raptors can come back and beat the Nets in their playoff series?

View Results

Ads by Google