Line combinations get approval from Jets


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Game 9 of the regular season is on tap for the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Kings visit the MTS Centre.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2015 (2589 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Game 9 of the regular season is on tap for the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Kings visit the MTS Centre.

At 5-2-1, the Jets have had one their best starts. And they have not yet changed their overall forward-line combinations, which seems unusual in this era of the NHL.

“It’s health,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said after today’s practice at the MTS Centre. “The one line that was really good line last night was (Bryan) Little’s, start to finish regardless of the game. Their game never changed. It’s three veteran players (with Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler) on that line.

Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press Winnipeg Jets' Bryan Little (18) and Andrew Ladd (16)  celebrate after Little scored on Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) during the first period.

“Each of the next three lines have two young players. So they need some time to play together. We’re still early on. I’ll move around more when we get a better feel for what we have.

“And then we are a little bit protective of some of the younger players in the roles they’re in. They’re getting good minutes but before we move them into top six and change the match-up of people they’re playing against, they just need some time in the league.”

The combinations have been to the liking of veteran forward Mathieu Perreault, who has been slotted into a spot with centre Mark Scheifele and rookie Nikolaj Ehlers.

The stability gets Perreault’s approval.

“It’s nice,” he said today. “Usually that’s what happens when the team’s doing well. For me, being when I was in Washington and we had that long stretch where lines don’t change because we were all playing well together.

“It’s how teams get great, because you get to play with the same guys so long that you build some chemistry. I know our line has been creating a lot of chances and we’re pretty happy with where we’re at.”

The Jets are 2-1-1 on their six-game homestand so far.

Today Drew Stafford was again absent for practice, as he was last Saturday. But Stafford, who scored twice on Sunday in a win over Minnesota, is expected to be a player on Tuesday.


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