Kane, Scheifele now finding twine

Both insist only difference is bounces


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Remember how Jets Nation was fretting barely a week or so ago about how even though the Winnipeg Jets were winning, they were doing it almost exclusively on production by the team’s first line?

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/12/2014 (3088 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Remember how Jets Nation was fretting barely a week or so ago about how even though the Winnipeg Jets were winning, they were doing it almost exclusively on production by the team’s first line?

Well, fret no more because it has been long-awaited secondary scoring from the likes of Evander Kane and Mark Scheifele — rather than the same old triumvirate of Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler — that has been the difference for Winnipeg the last few games.

With another assist Friday night in a 2-1 Jets win over the Boston Bruins, a once-slumbering Scheifele suddenly has seven points — three goals and four assists — in just his last four games and is nothing short of the hottest player on the Jets right now.

Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press The Jets' Evander Kane in action near the Bruins' goal in action in Winnipeg on Friday.

And with the first goal of the game Friday night just 3:12 into the first period, the once-slumping Kane suddenly has three points — two goals and one assist — in just his last two games and appears to be finding his form of late.

So what has changed so suddenly for a pair of Jets who’d been struggling mightily to find traction on offence for most of Winnipeg’s first 30 regular-season games?

Not a darn thing, both players insisted Friday night. “They’re just going in now — that’s the biggest thing,” said Scheifele. “I’m not worrying about it. The team’s winning, and that’s the main focus and playing D is the focus. And if they happen to go in, they go in…

“The team’s been successful and I’ve been getting my chances. And that’s the biggest thing — when you don’t get the chances, that’s when you start getting worried. I just want to continue to play my game and stick to it and not change it at all. That’s my focus.”

With his second goal in as many games, Kane now has six on the season, but like Scheifele insists the only difference lately is he’s been getting some bounces finally going his way.

“I’ve got two good bounces the last two games and was able to find the back of the net,” said Kane. “But it’s a long season and there’s a lot of hockey left. We’ll see what the future holds.”

Kane credited linemates Matt Halischuk and Adam Lowry with the hard work that led to his early goal, which set the tone for a dominating first period that saw the Jets outshoot the Bruins 16-4.

“It was really good work by (Lowry and Halischuk) down low for quite some time. They kind of wore them down and a point shot (by Grant Clitsome) just squeaked through and I just went to the net,” said Kane.

Scheifele credited much of his recent success to a comfort level he has found with linemates Michael Frolik and Mathieu Perreault. Perreault had the game-winner Friday night, deflecting a point shot from defenceman Dustin Byfuglien with less than a minute to play in the second period. Scheifele had the secondary assist on the play.

“I’m finding a lot of chemistry with Perreault and Fro,” said Scheifele. “We’re all feeling good and I think that’s a huge thing that has developed over the last little while. And we just want to continue with that.”

Twitter: @PaulWiecek


Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.

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