Jets need to do some soul-searching: Wheeler

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In the wake of two home losses this week to fellow bottom-feeders in the NHL standings, the call came today from Winnipeg Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler for some soul-searching.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/01/2016 (2509 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

In the wake of two home losses this week to fellow bottom-feeders in the NHL standings, the call came today from Winnipeg Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler for some soul-searching.

The Jets, 19-21-3, are just four points off the playoff line in the Western Conference, but also just three points away from last place in the conference.

They have blown their first two chances to take advantage of a schedule that is more friendly. Game 3 of a stretch of nine of 10 at home comes Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Winnipeg Jets Blake Wheeler

“I don’t think we’re where we need to be from an emotional standpoint,” Wheeler said today after the mid-day practice at the MTS Centre. “I just don’t think there’s enough of an investment from everyone to get to where we need to go.

“So your follow-up question is going to be, ‘How do we get that?’ That’s the million-dollar question. How do you get 20-plus individuals buying into the same thing and spilling everything they have every night into it.

“I don’t have that answer today but hopefully we’ll figure it out by tomorrow.

“At times like this, it’s important everyone takes a look in the mirror individually to try to figure it out. Because to start pointing fingers and wonder what the next guy’s going to do, that spirals.”

Team quickness and belief have been identified by head coach Paul Maurice as reasons for concern of late.

The togetherness matter was mentioned to Wheeler today.

“Like, do we need to get Dr. Phil in here?” he answered. “We’ve got some pretty important games coming up. There needs to be an investment in one another. How you get that, I don’t know if sitting in a circle and singing songs is going to do that, do the trick.

“Seeing one of your teammates lay it on the line and maybe get out of his comfort zone and do a little more than what you expect out of him, that would fire me up. That would get our group fired up. I think our actions need to speak more than what we’ve been saying in the dressing room.”

Today, the Jets put centre Mark Scheifele on the injured reserve list retroactive of Jan. 7 so they could call up forward Matt Halischuk.

That will rule Scheifele out of Thursday’s game, but he could return as early as Friday if he’s healthy enough.

Maurice said today nothing has changed with Scheifele’s health progress since he took the pre-game skate on Sunday and didn’t feel 100 per cent.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 2:16 PM CST: Writethru.

Updated on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 4:41 PM CST: Photo switched.

Updated on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 6:14 PM CST: Photo changed

Updated on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 9:37 PM CST: Writethrough

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