PAUL Maurice is tired of practice, tired of training camp and ready for the real games to begin.

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PAUL Maurice is tired of practice, tired of training camp and ready for the real games to begin.

The Winnipeg Jets held their second to last practice before the NHL regular season begins and worked mostly on the power play and penalty kill Tuesday.

Jets bench boss Paul Maurice is tired of talking about practice.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jets bench boss Paul Maurice is tired of talking about practice.

Maurice says he's ready for live bullets.

"Camp was over after the last exhibition game. Three days of practice is always a challenge. We'll get a good day of work in (today) and then get on the plane. Everyone is excited. The season begins (today) and it's kind of like Christmas morning feeling," said Maurice, who will take his Jets on the road to begin the season Thursday in Arizona against the Coyotes.

The Jets have not made the post-season since moving to Winnipeg and including the organization's time in Atlanta it is seven years out of the playoffs.

"We've had a training camp and now you want perfection in Game 1," said Maurice with a smile. "Then you realize you have 82 games and you have to work on these things every day. Pressure changes everything. It changes how you pass the puck, the decisions you make. Now it's on and there's a cost to everything you do. I don't know if there's many things worse than standing behind a bench in an exhibition game. You know when you're walking out you're not wired enough for the game. It's just not right."

 

Budaj to IceCaps

NEWLY acquired goaltender Peter Budaj has cleared waivers and been reassigned to the Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate in St. John's, the NHL team announced Tuesday morning.

Budaj joins Connor Hellebuyck as the goaltending tandem in St. John's and the nine-year NHL veteran will also provide some goaltending insurance this season for the Jets, who will use Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson as their 1-2 tandem between the pipes to start the regular season on Thursday.

Budaj was acquired by the Jets on Sunday in a trade that sent Eric Tangradi to the Montreal Canadiens.

 

Don't bet on Jets

THE Winnipeg Jets are getting further, not closer, to winning a Stanley Cup -- at least according to an online gambling site.

The website bodog.ca, which listed the Jets as a 66-1 long shot to win the Stanley Cup at the start of training camp, lengthened those odds to 100-1 on Tuesday with the release of the site's final pre-season odds.

That's the same odds of winning the Stanley Cup as the site gave to the New York Islanders and it's ahead of only the Edmonton Oilers (125-1), Calgary Flames (150-1), Carolina Hurricanes (175-1), and Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers (250-1).

The Chicago Blackhawks are listed as the 5-1 favourite to win the Stanley Cup this season, followed by the Boston Bruins (11-2) and defending champion Los Angeles Kings (13-2).

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

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.