WINNIPEG - Not scoring a single postseason goal a year ago in his first run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs is not weighing on Nikolaj Ehlers' shoulders in 2019.
A confirmation of that fact came in Game 1 of the Winnipeg Jets series with the St. Louis Blues where Ehlers led the team with four shots. Three of them came in the first period and they were really good looks for the Danish forward on Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.
"We liked what we did but it wasn't enough," said Ehlers.
"We have to keep doing that and do it more. I don't think there's any goalie in this league that likes when there are two to three guys in front of them. We've got to get some traffic and get some good shots to the net. We had some pretty good chances last game. We have to bury those as well. We're going to start doing that tonight."
Ehlers and his teammates had a solid opening period on Wednesday, looking very much like the team that went on that memorable run last spring. Outside of giving up two goals in the final 16 minutes there wasn't a whole not to like about the Jets efforts.
"We have to play all three the right way. I think we started out real well, we know it's going to be a quick start again tonight," said Ehlers.
"Keep playing our game, put together a good full 60 and I think we will have a pretty good chance."
Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers
Even though the Jets were held to 25 shots a fair amount of them were grade 'A' chances. Winnipeg ran into rookie sensation Binnington for the first time this season and the Blues goaltender became the third rookie in franchise history to win his first playoff game in his postseason debut.
One has to wonder if the Jets found any weaknesses in the opposition netminder in the 60 minutes two nights ago. If they did, Ehlers was not in the mood to share.
"You think I'm going to say what I learned about him?" joked Ehlers.
"I hope so. We'll see."
It hasn't been made official yet but there is a chance Brandon Tanev re-joins his teammates for the second game of the series. Tanev has missed the last three contests with an upper body injury and the opportunity to have his speed and tenacity back is a plus at this time of year.
"It's a boost on and off the ice. Everyone who knows him knows he's energy," said Ehlers.
"He gets so fired up for every single game and it's excited to watch, it gets you fired up as well. The on ice stuff speaks for itself, he goes out there and plays pretty hard every single game and pulls the guys with him. He's an important piece to this team and it's exciting to have him back."