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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 01/12/2015 (2442 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Gee it’s good to be back home again
NO truth to the rumour when the Winnipeg Jets returned home from Denver in the wee hours Sunday — wrapping up what has been a nightmarish travel month — the players and coaches needed to use their GPS to find their way home.
But it sure as heck must have felt that way.
“It was a gruelling schedule,” said Jets forward Adam Lowry after Monday’s conditioning skate at the MTS Centre. “Obviously we didn’t get the results we’ve been hoping for, but looking at our last five or six games, the style we’ve played and the way the team has played for the most part, there’s been stretches where we haven’t been happy in that segment, we feel like our game is coming along.
“It’s important for guys with families to get to spend a little bit of time at home. It’s a mental grind with the amount of road games we’ve played, and with that rest it’s important for us to get back in the gym and get back that strength you might have lost.”
On the weekend, the Jets completed a stretch that saw them play 15 games in 29 days, with 11 on the road — three of them back-to-back situations with games on consecutive days. All told, the team was on the road for 20 of 30 days since late October through Saturday’s loss in Denver.
It took a toll, too, on both the Jets’ game and their bodies.
“We’re not exactly happy with how the month went, but it’s nice to be home for a bit and get some rest,” said centre Bryan Little. “It’s been a hard schedule, especially that last road trip and going across all the time zones in North America, but it’s part of the schedule and everyone at some point has a tough part and that was ours so we’re looking forward to playing some home games.”
STEP AWAY FROM THE ALARM BELL: The Jets’ leading scorer Blake Wheeler (nine goals and 25 points in 25 games) was not on the ice Monday, immediately causing the club’s faithful to wonder if he had been injured in Saturday’s loss to Colorado. Head coach Paul Maurice said Wheeler simply needed another day to “heal up a little bit” and he would be back on the ice today.
A note from Monday’s workout: D-man Ben Chiarot was back to being paired with Dustin Byfuglien and that might mean Adam Pardy is getting bumped from the lineup.
FYI: Monday and today will mark the first time since Oct. 22 the Jets have had consecutive practice days.
“Right now we’re looking at things that are getting better,” said Maurice. “In our last seven games we’ve given up quite a bit less in terms of where the shots are coming from — seventh in the league, I think, in our last seven games. We’ve come off the floor (bottom) to 23rd in terms of our restraining fouls and our discipline… especially in the last three games, was fantastic. Things are getting better with our game defensively.
“Fatigue sets in for everybody and everybody’s got their stretches. We went through ours and didn’t have great results, so we’ve got lots of places to get better.”
ODD COUPLE: Strange to see Jets sophomore Lowry scrapping with Jarome Iginla Saturday night in Denver, given Lowry’s dad Dave played with Iginla back in their days in Calgary.
“It’s a little strange looking back,” said Lowry. “But it’s just another hockey player and I was trying to get our team sparked. Looking back now, knowing that they played together, it’s probably a little weird… probably a little weirder for him than it is for me.
“I remember hanging around the rink and he was the face of the (Flames) franchise and I remember some of his fights in the playoffs when they went to the Cup. I know he’s a good player, he’s a good player for Colorado and a fierce competitor.”
Ed.firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @WFPEdTait
Updated on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 7:33 AM CST: Photo added.