Scheifele doesn’t practise, game status shaky
Playing with discomfort near end of game in Dallas
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/01/2016 (2513 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Centre Mark Scheifele will be a game-time decision Sunday when the Jets meet the Buffalo Sabres at the MTS Centre.
Jets coach Paul Maurice said Saturday Scheifele will likely take the pre-game skate and a decision will then be made.
Scheifele didn’t practise Saturday. He was in some discomfort at the end of Thursday’s game in Dallas with a lower-body issue.
Alex Burmistrov was also missing from Saturday’s practice, but the coach said he’s expecting Burmistrov will be a player against the Sabres.
At exactly the half-way point, the schedule turns from unfavourable to favourable for the Jets.
At the 41-game mark, they are the NHL team with the biggest discrepancy between home and road games — 17 versus 24 — but begin a string of nine of 10 at the MTS Centre with Sunday’s matinee against Buffalo.
Winnipeg has played the league’s most road games so far.
“Just in terms of the miles you spend on the road, well, just look at our last trip,” said captain Andrew Ladd. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of going from Anaheim to Nashville in the middle of it.
“We’ve had some long road trips and long plane rides and just weird trips in general. I think you want to take advantage of being at home, the rest that you get from not being on the plane travelling from city to city. It’s a place we’ve had success this year, so we’re excited about the opportunity we have here in front of us.”
Energy is the biggest difference Maurice expects to see in the coming weeks.
“We’ll have better rest and a little quicker recovery on games,” Maurice said. “A little more of an even energy-level expectation every night.
“I like the structure of what we’re doing, the lines that we’re running and the pairings that we have. So I’m excited about each game.”
There are other items that make a difference, such as line matchups, the coach said, but energy is the bottom line.
“The one advantage you do have at home is that you’re not travelling, that you’re not getting off the plane at 3 o’clock in the morning, that you’re not changing time zones seemingly two and three times a road trip, so that energy is a big one,” he said.
Lost in some of the hype surrounding Sunday’s game and the first Winnipeg appearance for Evander Kane since last February’s trade is there will be four other players on the ice who switched teams in the deal.
Drew Stafford, who gave the Jets nine goals and 19 points in the 26 games he played after last season’s trade, has 14 goals in this season’s first half. He played eight-plus seasons in Buffalo before the move.
“It’s always weird, I’m sure, for guys who play former teams but for us, for the most part we focus on winning and getting the points and it’s doesn’t really matter who we’re against,” Stafford said Saturday. “We’re in that urgent mode right now where we need the points.”
Blue-liner Tyler Myers and forward Joel Armia also came over from Buffalo.