Jets Journal: Time on our side
Noel looks at the month of December as a perfect time for development.
The Winnipeg Jets gathered at the MTS IcePlex Friday morning for a team meeting before taking to the ice for an intense and lengthy practice as they prepare for their next opponent, the New Jersey Devils.
“We talked about a few different things,” said Coach Claude Noel. “One of them being how we want to manage the month and looking ahead, and how our team needs to play.
“This is a month that we can really use this time to develop a lot of different things because come January, February, March, we need to really know exactly what we’re doing, where we’re going and how are we going to get there.”
There were a few bodies absent who required a maintenance day, as they nurse a few bumps and bruises.
Nik Antropov, Eric Fehr and Ron Hainsey were all taking part in off-ice training, as the three of them are nursing aggravating, reoccurring injuries.
“Fehr is day-to-day, he was off early today so we’ll see where he stands,” said Noel. “I think it’s more maintenance with him. It’s going to be like this for awhile, before we can get stuff going.
“Hainsey and Antropov both look like they are about a week away. We should start to get people back around December 7th, somewhere in there."
On the bright side, Brett Festerling who has been sporting a red non-contact jersey over the last while, was wearing a regular white jersey today, which means he is one step closer to making a return to the lineup.
“I want to get out there no matter what,” said Festerling. “I think that’s part of being an athlete. Obviously with Hainsey being down, I want to get out there as fast as possible but I don’t want to jeopardize my health either.”
“Festerling needs a few more practice days to get ready to go so I don’t think he’s a player for tomorrow.” added Noel.
RANDY JONES UPDATE
Randy Jones was also on the ice during practice today donning a red no-contact jersey. Jones has been out since November 5th, when he blocked a shot with his foot against the New Jersey Devils.
“It was another step up in the positive way,” Jones said. “I’ve been anxious to get out there and get back with the guys and get on the ice with them and it felt good today.”
Jones expressed his frustration having missed the last 12 games and is more than anxious to get back in the lineup and help his team on the depleted blueline.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s game one, game eighty-two or if it’s exhibition,” Jones explained. “It’s always brutal and it’s always a tough thing to get injured especially when it’s a long injury and anything more than one game, I look at it as a long injury.
“It is extremely difficult and it definitely tests the patience a little bit but you just have to work extra hard to get back in the lineup.”
The Jets have played a total of 12 defensemen through the first 25 games of the season; a huge number when you look at the big picture. It’s obvious that the depth that this team has on the blueline, speaks for itself.
“We’ve had a bit of bad luck for a span here, but the boys are playing well and starting to get healthy so that’s good to see,” said Jones.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a team where we’ve had to use 12 d-men, especially when its just December. That’s the good thing about having so much depth, and we do on this team. When guys go down other guys are able to step in and not miss a beat so it’s good to see.”
Author: Kristi Hennessy- winnipegjets.com