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Jets put home opener behind them with up-tempo practice on Thursday

Paul Maurice shuffles forward lines and defensive pairs

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

WINNIPEG - One day after a tough 7-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Winnipeg Jets got back to work, and did so with a slightly different look.

Head coach Paul Maurice shuffled his lines, a continuation of the move he began in the second period of last night's game.

At that time, he moved Mathieu Perreault to Bryan Little's wing with Patrik Laine on the other side, while Nikolaj Ehlers joined Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.

Those two lines were the same today, while Nic Petan - who didn't play last night - slotted in on the right wing with Adam Lowry and Shawn Matthias. Brandon Tanev, Andrew Copp, and Joel Armia rounded out the forward lines.

The team looked over video from the loss before taking to the ice for a full 60-minute practice, which finished with 20 minutes of conditioning work.

"That wasn't even close to a bag skate, nobody puked," Maurice said. "(Maybe) if we had spent another 20 minutes at it. Back-to-back practices early in the year, it won't happen later in the year, your conditioning is something you want to maintain and improve on.

"It was only a hard skate the whole practice if the players worked hard at it, and they did. There was real good intensity, at the end of the skate we had it should have had them bent over a little bit, and it did."

Video: PRACTICE | Jacob Trouba

The forwards weren't the only ones to see a shuffle, as the defensive pairs were switched up in practice as well, with two days to go until the Jets take on the Calgary Flames:





"Going on the road I think we know we have to play a simpler game. Not as much offensive creativity, especially coming out of our own end," said Jacob Trouba. "As defensemen, just get the puck up to the forwards and chip it out and keep going, and play with some speed. We had plenty of chances last night. Obviously we didn't keep enough pucks out of our net.

"We've got 81 games left, and we have to move on to the next one."

Video: PRACTICE | Bryan Little

To help the team move forward from the loss, Maurice had the Jets forwards work on driving to the net, and the defencemen improve their presence in front of the net.

"Three or four of those drills had that component," Maurice said. "We have to get to the net harder, and certainly we have to do a better job of identifying who we've got, and being in better body position. Goal number seven is a pretty good example of that."

Video: PRACTICE | Dustin Byfuglien

While Maurice wouldn't fully commit to the lines used in practice today being exactly what the Jets will look like against the Flames. But he made one thing clear; the team isn't waiting around to fix things.

"We're not sitting and waiting three weeks. We've got to get it going," he said. "This franchise doesn't move forward until it can defend. You can put all the talent in the world on the ice, you're not winning a thing until you've got a real good comfort level to defend."

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