WINNIPEG — After a day off on Monday, it was back to the grind for players of the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
With a full four days between games, head coach Paul Maurice put the players through the paces with a hard skating, grinding practice. Maurice is using the extra practice time to worry about improving their own game instead of preparing for their next opponent.
“In a day like today you can use bigger number guys, so your drills have more five on five and there’s less rest,” Maurice said. “We wanted to work on some kinda harder, grinding things. Our practice pace has improved from probably our second cutdown and we’re getting closer and closer. We have a little better understanding of where we need to get better and now we can apply some of those things this week.”
“Today was a good skate,” defenseman Mark Stuart said. “When you have a few days, you can work on a lot more systems things and get a good skate in at the end like we did. We work on your system and powerplay, penalty kill. Watch a lot of video. If you use it correctly it can be a good thing for rest as well.”
“You start to get in a routine a little bit you know playing almost every other day,” forward Blake Wheeler said. “When you kinda get out of that routine you got to stay on top of things. You gotta have tough practices so that once Friday comes you’re not lethargic out there.”
The Jets are coming off their second loss of the season after dropping a 4-2 decision to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. The Jets six game home stand continues on Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning and after missing the last three games Ben Chiarot is ready to return to the lineup.
“He got through practice, looked like he had good jump and good strength so he’s a player for us now,” Maurice said.
Adam Pardy dressed the last three games in Chiarot’s absence and was a minus-one, with three shots and two penalty minutes.
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