December 19, 2018

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Scheifele, Johansen enjoy challenge of tough matchup

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey</p><p>Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele and Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen battle for the puck. The two have voiced a mutual respect for each other as players.</p>

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele and Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen battle for the puck. The two have voiced a mutual respect for each other as players.

They may be fierce rivals on the ice, but there’s also some mutual admiration between Mark Scheifele and Ryan Johansen.

The No. 1 centres for the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators, respectively, took turns praising each other Thursday morning, just hours before they hit the ice against each other.

“It’s a great challenge for me and a challenge I always look forward to,” Johansen said of being matched up against Scheifele. “We matched up last year in the playoffs and he was very effective.”

“He’s a great player. He makes great plays, he’s a good passer. He pretty much does it all. He plays hard, he plays gritty, he goes to the dirty areas and plays a solid game. So, it’s a fun matchup. It’s a challenge. Those are always fun,” Scheifele said.

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They may be fierce rivals on the ice, but there’s also some mutual admiration between Mark Scheifele and Ryan Johansen.

The No. 1 centres for the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators, respectively, took turns praising each other Thursday morning, just hours before they hit the ice against each other.

"It’s a great challenge for me and a challenge I always look forward to," Johansen said of being matched up against Scheifele. "We matched up last year in the playoffs and he was very effective."

"He’s a great player. He makes great plays, he’s a good passer. He pretty much does it all. He plays hard, he plays gritty, he goes to the dirty areas and plays a solid game. So, it’s a fun matchup. It’s a challenge. Those are always fun," Scheifele said.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and forget, for a moment, how much these two teams dislike each other.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice said he’s not surprised to hear other top players are joining the Scheifele fan club.

"When we got into that series last year (with Nashville), it was pretty clear in the first 10 minutes the matchup was what it was and we just left it. Both teams liked the matchup. And why wouldn’t you, it was a seven-game series and it was good for both teams. Mark’s elevated his game now. I can play him with the idea that we hope he’s better than the other team’s centre every night, but I don’t have to hide him offensively. He can be good at both ends."


 

Winnipeg Jets center Adam Lowry isn't holding a grudge after getting speared by L.A. Kings defenceman, Dion Phaneuf.

(AP PHOTO/SCOTT KANE)

Winnipeg Jets center Adam Lowry isn't holding a grudge after getting speared by L.A. Kings defenceman, Dion Phaneuf.

Adam Lowry said there’s no hard feelings towards Dion Phaneuf, even if the Jets forward admittedly wasn’t feeling very good after taking a stick to the groin from the Los Angeles Kings defenceman on Tuesday night.

"No, that one hurt. But that’s OK. I don’t think he meant to do it, I think he was trying to lift my stick. It sucks that it happens, but you’re going to get hit there sometimes," Lowry said.

Lowry got a big lick in earlier in the game when he sent Drew Doughty flying with a shoulder-to-shoulder check.


 

It appears a roster decision is looming for the Jets.

Forward Nic Petan continues to skate on his own in Winnipeg and is nearing a return, Maurice said Thursday.

Winnipeg Jets Forward Nic Petan continues to skate on his own in Winnipeg and is nearing a return to the team.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Winnipeg Jets Forward Nic Petan continues to skate on his own in Winnipeg and is nearing a return to the team.

"The next step is he’ll join the team. That’ll happen, I would think, in the next three to five days," he said.

Petan was granted an indefinite leave of absence following the death of his father on Sept. 18.

Petan only played in the club’s first pre-season game

Petan is expected to stay with the Jets rather than be sent to the Manitoba Moose.

Speaking of the Moose, they announced their leadership group on the eve of the AHL team’s home opener.

Peter Stoykewych has been named the eighth captain in franchise history, while JC Lipon and Cameron Schilling will serve as alternates.

The Moose host the Belleville Senators tonight at Bell MTS Place at 7 p.m.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

 

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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History

Updated on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 10:59 PM CDT: Adds photos

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