Maurice wants far more from checking lines

Galiardi moves up, Thorburn moves down

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No team in the NHL has scored more goals this season than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/01/2015 (2884 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

No team in the NHL has scored more goals this season than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With the Leafs in town today to face the Jets at the MTS Centre, Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice decided Friday it is time to try to light a fire under his team’s slumbering bottom two lines.

Maurice is hoping T.J. Galiardi will be the one to light the spark.

Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press T.J. Galiardi: Something to prove

Galiardi — who has struggled to get into the Jets lineup this season and has played just four games since Nov. 13 — was on the left wing of Winnipeg’s third line with Adam Lowry and Matt Halischuk at Jets practice at Friday morning.

Galiardi played the last two games on the Jets fourth line and Maurice said after practice he’s hoping the switch — which also sees Chris Thorburn drop back down to play in his more customary position on the fourth line with Jim Slater and Anthony Peluso — will generate some badly needed offensive production.

“I’m just trying to get something going. I didn’t think either of those two lines had a tremendous amount of ice time and they clearly didn’t have a whole lot going. So it’s just a flip-flop,” Maurice explained.

Evander Kane had been playing the left wing position on the Jets third line, but he was hurt in a game in St. Paul on Dec. 27 and will be out until at least February. Thorburn played in place of Kane on the Jets third line the last two games.

Galiardi doesn’t have a point in 21 games with the Jets this season. He said he welcomed an opportunity that will come with more ice-time.

“Everyone wants more ice and more opportunity and now I just have to go out and show them they made the right call,” said Galiardi.

— — —

The Chicago Blackhawks played the Washington Capitals in the Winter Classic outdoor game on New Year’s Day at Nationals Park. Jets forward Blake Wheeler was asked Friday if the spectacle whetted his appetite for an outdoor game that is expected to be held at Winnipeg’s Investors Group Field next winter.

“Those guys looked a little bit warmer than I think we’re going to be,” said Wheeler with a laugh. “I know we’re not in America, but I will take my fifth amendment rights.”

The temperature at game-time in Washington was 6 C. The average daily high in Winnipeg in January is -13 C.

An announcement confirming Winnipeg will host an outdoor game during the 2015-16 season is expected soon.

An outdoor Jets game would coincide with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosting the 2015 Grey Cup and take advantage of temporary seating that will already be in place.

— — —

The bookmakers are still not sold on the Jets’ chances to win the Stanley Cup.

The online bookmaker bodog.ca issued updated Stanley Cup odds and the Jets remain a prohibitive underdog at 50-1, up from 66-1 previously.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the favourite at 5-1, while the Edmonton Oilers are the longest shot on the board at 1,000-1.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

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.

History

Updated on Saturday, January 3, 2015 11:49 AM CST: Alters headline.

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