August 24, 2019

Winnipeg
26° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Wheeler steps up to deflect Laine criticism

John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES</p><p>Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler tried to absorb some of the pressure on slumping teammate Patrik Laine.</p>

John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler tried to absorb some of the pressure on slumping teammate Patrik Laine.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/2/2019 (198 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MONTREAL — It's not quite the same as throwing his body in front of a 100 m.p.h. slapshot. But Blake Wheeler tried to help his team with another big block on Thursday.

The Winnipeg Jets captain stepped in front of the cameras and microphones in a clear attempt to try and absorb some of the pressure on teammate Patrik Laine, who was kept away from doing media interviews by the team's public relations staff for a second straight day while wallowing in the worst scoring slump of his young career.

Laine entered play Thursday night in Montreal with no goals in his last eight games and just one in his last 15.

"I think you have a 20-year-old kid who's been one of the top goal scorers in the league since he's been in the league, and when you're used to scoring goals like he is and it doesn't go in quite as often as you expect or as you're used to, there's obviously some frustration that comes with it," Wheeler said to a huge gathering of media following the morning skate at Bell Centre.

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/2/2019 (198 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MONTREAL — It's not quite the same as throwing his body in front of a 100 m.p.h. slapshot. But Blake Wheeler tried to help his team with another big block on Thursday.

The Winnipeg Jets captain stepped in front of the cameras and microphones in a clear attempt to try and absorb some of the pressure on teammate Patrik Laine, who was kept away from doing media interviews by the team's public relations staff for a second straight day while wallowing in the worst scoring slump of his young career.

<p>Patrik Laine entered play Thursday night in Montreal with no goals in his last eight games.</p>

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Patrik Laine entered play Thursday night in Montreal with no goals in his last eight games.

Laine entered play Thursday night in Montreal with no goals in his last eight games and just one in his last 15.

"I think you have a 20-year-old kid who's been one of the top goal scorers in the league since he's been in the league, and when you're used to scoring goals like he is and it doesn't go in quite as often as you expect or as you're used to, there's obviously some frustration that comes with it," Wheeler said to a huge gathering of media following the morning skate at Bell Centre.

"The beautiful thing for him is, he's still probably going to end up with 40 goals this year, this is going to be an afterthought and it's going to make him a better player. Every guy in this room has been through something like this. It took me 20 games to score a goal when I came to Winnipeg, I thought they weren't going to let me put a home sweater on after about 15 games. It's not a lot of fun, but it builds character, it's something you learn from, it's going to make you better in the long run."

Wheeler sold himself short, as he actually scored his first goal of the 2011-12 season in the 19th game. But point taken.

"It’s one of those things, when it rains it pours. Hockey’s a different animal in that sense. When you’re feeling it, you don’t necessarily think that you’re moving faster or quicker, but you are. Your game just seems to be that extra step faster, your shot’s a little bit quicker. You’re not trying to be too fine with your shooting," said Wheeler.

"When it’s going the other way, the goalie looks real big in that net. It’s going to be one of those things where Patty scores a couple big goals, and we’ll be talking about Patty scoring 10 or 15 goals in 10 games... which is kind of how he snaps out of these things."

Jets head coach Paul Maurice made an interesting decision Thursday, bumping the slumping Laine down to the second power-play unit. He switched places with the surging Jack Roslovic, who had five goals in his last five games.

"Roslovic, he’s hot. It’s coming off his stick right and we think there’s going to be some action around the net, a little bit. These guys do a nice job at times of taking away the perimeter shot, so we think there will be a little more action around the net and he’s been good there," Maurice said.

"I'm going to have a hard time of convincing you people of this, but this is the Jack Roslovic story. When you get a guy who gets hot, he’s a young guy and there’s got to be a payoff. We wanted to reward (Roslovic’s) hot streak with maybe a few more minutes."


Brendan Lemieux was still 10 years away from being born when his father, Claude, won his first Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens. But that still had the Jets forward pumped to play his first NHL game in the city Thursday night.

"I’ve seen the clips, I’ve seen some of the game-winners and some of the special moments that he had here, especially being a rookie and thinking back to his rookie season. He was fortunate to be on a really good team with a lot of good young players, and it’s a similar situation that I’m in here," Lemieux said following the morning skate. "Obviously it’s Montreal, it’s the coolest place for hockey and it’s exciting to play."

Lemieux was expecting plenty of family and friends in attendance, including two brothers who live in Montreal.

"Being in Montreal is where it all started (for his father), and being in my first year it’s cool to see," said Lemieux.

 

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.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 5:31 PM CST: Adds photo

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us