Hextall on Hockey: Adam Lowry’s battle level

Winnipeg Jets' Adam Lowry (17) fights Vegas Golden Knights right wing Ryan Reaves during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/David Becker

Adam Lowry missed nearly seven weeks of game action due to an upper-body injury.

Twenty games out of the Winnipeg Jets lineup, and what does Lowry do in his return Monday night against Arizona? In the first period alone, he delivers a crushing hit on the Coyotes’ Vinnie Hinostroza and then fights Lawson Crouse.

How can you not love it?

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READ MORE: Hextall on Hockey — The Winnipeg Jets finally beating the injury bug

Lowry hasn’t played since Jan. 19 but showed no hesitation in engaging in the physical front of the game. More importantly, he set the tone. He’s back to battle, and that’s exactly what the Jets need in the last month of the regular season.

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Skill alone isn’t enough. Great goaltending alone isn’t enough. Battle level is what will push the Jets into the playoffs. Battle level includes desperation, resiliency, willingness to sacrifice one’s body and adapt to any role required in order to get the win — to get the two pivotal points.

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At this time of year, down the stretch and into the playoffs, the team that has the highest battle level will skate to victory.

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