Jets Journal: Off to Toronto
The Jets head to Ontario for back to back games against the Leafs and Senators
The Winnipeg Jets packed their bags and hit the road for their second two-game road trip of the season. The first stop is in Toronto for a date with the Maple Leafs Wednesday night at 6:30 pm CST. (TSN, RIS(HD), TSN-JETS)
The team came to the rink well rested after a hard fought and much deserved win Monday night over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ron Hainsey was not present at practice today as he is nursing an upper body injury that he suffered in the second period against the Penguins. Derek Meech will get the call to play in his first regular season game as a Winnipeg Jet on Wednesday to help out on the blueline.
“It’s exciting, my first regular season as a Jet," said Meech. "I’m looking forward to going into Toronto with a good effort. The guys came out and played really well last night. We did a lot of good things throughout the game and we want to carry that over to Toronto. They have a very strong team there and they’re playing well so we’re going to have to bring our “A” game for sure.”
Jets head coach Claude Noel spoke to media after the skate and feels that Meech’s experience and hockey smarts will be a great addition to the lineup against Toronto.
“Derek has shown that he is a good player,” said Noel. “He has experience in the league, skating is a strength, he’s a smart player and I think he’s going to have good energy. He’s dying to play so he’ll get an opportunity and we’re going to be patient with him, as we are with all of them. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the lineup.”
Sitting on the sidelines, although difficult for a player, gives a different perspective on the game. Meech was able to watch the game from a bird’s-eye view and see the small things that the team was able to improve on Monday night.
“We’re playing together as a unit a lot better,” Meech feels. “Guys were in the right spots and it was easier to find guys in the open ice. We’re getting it deep a lot more often and eliminating turnovers. We just need to continue to improve and get better at that.”
KANE BACK ON THE ICE
Evander Kane was on the ice for the Jets full practice at the MTS Centre Tuesday morning after missing Monday night’s game against the Penguins. He was out of the lineup with a lower body injury that he suffered last Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes.
“It feels a lot better today,” said Kane. “I’ve made some progress so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. I’m hoping to be in the lineup tomorrow night.
“I don’t like sitting out regardless of what it is. It was definitely tough to not play but it was great for the guys to get a win.”
Looking forward to Toronto, Kane, as well as the rest of the dressing room, understands that the Leafs are playing strong hockey right now and it won’t be a cake-walk to pick up two points.
“They are a team that really likes to skate," said Kane. "They have a lot of speedy guys and they’re playing well right now. It’s going to be a tough test for us.”
“They’ve had a great start and played some great hockey,” said Ondrej Pavelec. “They have a lot of guys who can score goals. It’s another tough game for us and it’s going to be a great test. We have to play our game and if we want to make the playoffs, we’re going to have to start winning on the road.”
Author: Kristi Hennessy- winnipegjets.com