Jets centre Lowry benefiting from savvy veteran Stafford

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/10/2015 (2533 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

 

With five goals to start the season, Winnipeg Jets right-winger Drew Stafford not only leads the team, but is getting plenty of attention for his contributions.

Jets coach Paul Maurice had been complimenting Stafford for a good number of days before his two-goal performance in Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild, and since that win moved the Jets to 5-2-1, the bench boss put an even deeper spin on it.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Adam Lowry (centre) and Winnipeg Jets teammates take instruction at practice at the MTS Centre Monday.

 

Maurice mentioned Stafford’s young centre, second-year skater Adam Lowry, for a major effort that helped propel the Jets on Sunday — even though it was Lowry’s line with Stafford and Alex Burmistrov, and defencemen Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart, who were on the ice for Minnesota’s opening goal by Jason Zucker just 10 seconds after the drop of the puck.

Monday, after practice, Lowry pointed to Stafford as the member of the line on which their efficiency is built.

“It’s a little more comforting knowing that you have the guy that can draw on all those experiences,” Lowry said of his teammate. “He’s been in the league for a long time and has seen a lot of different things. He’s a previous 30-goal scorer and has always been a tremendous offensive threat.

‘Extremely well’

“I think now he’s showing that he can play both sides of the puck and do it extremely well. He’s still finding ways to produce. That fifth goal yesterday was a beautiful effort by him.”

It’s not just Stafford’s skills, both to produce and to defend, that comfort and help Lowry.

“It’s nice being able to come to the bench and get his perspective, the little things he picks up along the way,” Lowry said. “His calming influence, even after we got scored on (Sunday), we talked about it and we realized we had 59 minutes left in the game and we can’t let that define our game.”

The trio was built by Maurice to give the Jets a viable second option against top opponents. Sunday, it was against Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu.

“I think it’s a work in progress, getting our line used to those assignments,” Lowry said. “We did a fairly good job against Tampa and kind of carried that over. The last few games we’ve started to generate some things offensively.

“We’ve been able to get some pressure on the cycle and it’s always good to tire those guys out and force them to play defence. Obviously that start wasn’t ideal for us, but we were able to rebound. You look at Bryan’s (Little) goal and Andrew’s (Ladd) goal right after that. Those were big responses for our team.”

Lowry and the Jets, of course, weren’t terribly proud of their start Sunday, but insisted there is more to be said about what happened next.

“It was some bad luck; the puck’s bouncing, but Zucker made a good play,” Lowry said. “We’re playing against skilled players. You’re not going to go through the game without getting scored on.

“Whether that happens in the first 10 seconds or late in the first period, it’s about responding. I think we did a good job with that. We’ve talked about getting scored on, but it’s all about going out on the next shift to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 7:11 AM CDT: Photo changed.

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