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This article was published 10/3/2020 (357 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Adam Lowry’s return Monday night added a heavyweight element missing from the Winnipeg Jets’ game throughout his 20-game absence.
He came back from an upper-body injury to administer two devastating hits on overmatched Arizona Coyotes players and pounded out a decisive victory in a fight with Lawson Crouse.
Lowry also played a positive role centring Andrew Copp and Jack Roslovic on a reconstituted third line for the Jets.
"He hit somebody hard behind the net and that’s what he’s good at — really good at," said Roslovic Tuesday. "And he answered the bell to a guy from the other team who was sticking up for his team as well. He handled that well. That’s just the physical presence that Adam brings, and it’s great."
Copp said Lowry brings an element to the club that’s in short supply.
"I wouldn’t say necessarily the physicality or the fighting is contagious but the intensity is," said Copp. "Especially on a team where we have so many quicker, skilled forwards, maybe he becomes even more valuable because he is one of the most physical guys on our team. And without him, there’s not as much of it in the lineup. He’s definitely that presence for us.
"I don’t know if I thought he’d be fighting first shift, but it’s good to see he was back to his normal self."
Tough defensive assignments for the trio aren’t expected to change much.
"Even when Adam was out you saw us go against (Edmonton’s Leon) Draisaitl, you saw us go against (St. Louis’ Brayden) Schenn, you saw us get (Boston’s David) Krejci, when it was me and Jack and (Jansen) Harkins," said Copp.
"I feel that’s just the game we’re comfortable playing, in terms of being smart and reliable. Try to force their best players to defend. I feel we’ve done a pretty good job of that over the last little bit."
NOTEWORTHY: The Jets activated forward Mark Letestu from injured reserve and assigned him to AHL Manitoba on a conditioning assignment. The 35-year-old from Elk Point, Alta., played seven games for the Jets this season before he was sidelined with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.