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by Mitchell Clinton (@MClinton007) / Winnipeg Jets


WINNIPEG, Manitoba – After leaving the game following his fight with Daniel Winnik in Winnipeg’s 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto on Saturday, Ben Chiarot was at MTS Iceplex on Monday. Just not the way the Jets coaches, players, and fans would have liked.

Chiarot was sporting a cast on his left hand, and had that arm in a sling.

“He’s going to be out for a long period of time, closer to April,” Head Coach Paul Maurice said. “He did have surgery yesterday and had it repaired.

“Around the six week mark, we’ll use the word ‘is typical.’ But he’s not coming back until the doc says that thing is right.”

The defenceman was placed on injured reserve, and now, the Jets focus on moving forward, while Chiarot eyes a return to the line-up in early April. Forward Blake Wheeler also didn’t skate today, but Maurice lists him as “possible” for tomorrow’s game.

Four of the Jets’ last five games have been on the road, but that part of the schedule will even out over the next nine days, when the Jets host four games at MTS Centre. A welcome change after a tough road trip through Washington and Toronto. But captain Andrew Ladd feels the team isn’t far off.

“I think getting everything in sync, we play such an aggressive style that if you’re off by a couple feet, that’s the difference,” Ladd said. “Just having everybody in sync and just getting back to what made us successful.

“It’s a fine line, we’re not that far off to be honest with you. It’s more having that trust that knowing that guy is going to be there, being on your toes. When things start going sideways you have a tendency to start playing safe and that’s not how we play. We’re an aggressive team and we need to keep playing that way.”

The four-game home stand begins with Tuesday’s game against Dallas. The Jets will be looking to rebound from a 5-2 loss to the Stars back on January 31.

“Dallas is a quick rush team,” said Tyler Myers. “They’re a fast team. They like to get their defencemen up ice with their forwards on rushes. We’ll have to be ready to match that speed.”

Myers and Drew Stafford have been key contributors for the Jets since arriving on February 12. Myers has a goal and five points in his five games, while Stafford has three points.

Stafford is looking forward to continuing to work with Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele, who he skated with at practice today.

“Buff is a big body,” Stafford said. “We had a couple shifts where we were cycling down low pretty good. It seemed like it turned into a special teams battle again, so not too many 5-on-5 chances. That’s something we’re going to try and focus on for the next game.”

READING TAKES FLIGHT

Following today’s practice at MTS Iceplex, the Winnipeg Jets players visited a total of 14 different schools as part of Reading Takes Flight. Players read to students in the class, and answered questions during the afternoon.

Classes were chosen based on an entrant’s list of Top 5 reasons why a Jets player should read to their class. In addition to the visit, each winning entrant will receive an autographed replica jersey from a visiting player as well as an autographed book for each student and each classroom involved. There are also a number of prizes to be handed out, including Winnipeg Jets’ player bookmarks, along with a short autograph session for the participating students.

“It’s fun. You realize how important it is for us to be good role models for kids around the city and how much they look up to us,” said captain Andrew Ladd. “It’s fun to go into schools, have a little interaction, let them ask you some tough questions and have some fun with it. … Kids are smart these days. They know what’s going on. The Q&A was the best part for me.”

Stay tuned to winnipegjets.com to see the compilation video from the visits!

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