Big battle to stay in Winnipeg

Halischuk fighting to make team; Ehlers scores

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Conscientious as ever, Matt Halischuk may be the Winnipeg Jets forward who’s done the most grabbing for a job in the team’s pre-season outings.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/09/2014 (3051 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Conscientious as ever, Matt Halischuk may be the Winnipeg Jets forward who’s done the most grabbing for a job in the team’s pre-season outings.

Halischuk said he had the pleasure of playing with two Nicks Tuesday night — actually a Nic (Petan) and a Nik (Ehlers) — and by setting up the game-winning goal in the 2-1 decision over the Ottawa Senators at the MTS Centre, finds himself as the Jets’ leading point-getter so far in exhibition games.

Halischuk has two goals and Tuesday’s important assist in four games.

Trevor Hagan / THE CANADIAN PRESS Ottawa Senators goaltender Robin Lehner (40) shoves Winnipeg Jets' Evander Kane (9) as he tries to get a shot away during first period pre-season NHL hockey action in Winnipeg Tuesday.

“It’s always nice to chip in offensively but I’m just trying to play a solid game on both ends,” the 26-year-old left-winger said. “I’ll just try to continue to get better every day and push for a spot. Obviously having the chance to play with the Nickys there is fun. They see the ice really well and they have a lot of speed and that was fun to play with them.”

In addition to the points, Jets coach Paul Maurice called on Halischuk to help kill off a final-minute penalty, which also says a little about trust.

“For those of you who’ve spent some time with him, get to know what kind of person he is, he’s just a fantastic professional,” Maurice said.

“His conditioning is never an issue. He’s worked all summer and he comes to every practice focused and those are the guys…. I had a guy in Jeff Daniels who won a Stanley Cup and spent a lot of years in Carolina, his name was kind of on the fringe … and had a long career out of professionalism.”

Halischuk surely is not the sexiest storyline of the Jets’ pre-season, but he’s surely made the most of this time in his bid to stay with the team as one of the regular-season’s 13 likely forwards.

 

Rookie strikes

From Halischuk’s stick at 6:22 of the second period came the cross-ice pass to the rookie Ehlers, who had no trouble depositing a short shot for the eventual game-winner and his first goal in an NHL competition.

Ehlers has played each one of the team’s five exhibition games so far (Jets are now 2-3) and has a goal and an assist.

 

Yes, that was Pavs

Ondrej Pavelec looked more than comfortable in handling 25 of the 26 shots Ottawa sent his way on Tuesday night.

Pavelec went the distance for the win and has now played seven pre-season periods.

“I felt pretty good the whole game long,” said the Jets’ No. 1 goalie. “It’s just exhibition. Of course you want to win every game you play but in every game we did some good things and some bad things.

“The lineup is mixed up a little bit but it’s nice to get the win always.”

 

Sharpness improving

The Jets had two lines in Tuesday night’s game that are likely to be part of their starting roster for the NHL season.

Coach Paul Maurice put Mark Scheifele with Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler in the game, and also used Jim Slater with Anthony Peluso and Chris Thorburn.

Slater clicked for his first pre-season goal in his second outing, a plus after a long summer rehabbing from his hip surgery in late May.

The Scheifele line had its moments of control and danger but didn’t hit the scoreboard.

 

Clock is ticking

Winnipeg now has just two games remaining in the warm-up season, Thursday night in Calgary and back here Saturday against the Flames.

From there, the Jets’ regular-season opener is a week Thursday in Arizona, the start of a challenging three-game road trip that also stops in San Jose and Los Angeles. The Jets’ home opener isn’t until Oct. 17 against Nashville.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 5:18 PM CDT: Adds live blog

Updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 7:46 PM CDT: Updates score

Updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 8:40 PM CDT: Updates score

Updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 9:36 PM CDT: Updates score

Updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 9:49 PM CDT: CP write-thru

Updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 9:59 PM CDT: Adds slideshow

Updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:20 PM CDT: Local write-thru

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