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Jets return to practice, look to rebound vs. Leafs

by Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) / Winnipeg Jets


ETOBICOKE, Ontario
– The ups, downs, ebbs and flows of an 82-game grind are nothing new to a veteran group.

Yes, the Winnipeg Jets are coming off a disappointing 5-1 loss to the league-leading Montreal Canadiens, but that was then.

Learn from it, park it, and move on.

That’s what they’ve done.

“That game was one we can definitely put behind us,” defenceman Tyler Myers said Tuesday. “There’s no need to dwell on it. We know we have to be better.”

The Jets are 7-4-1 for 15 points, and a big reason why is they’ve yet to lose two in a row in regulation. That ability to rebound, Blake Wheeler says, is what separates the good from
the great.

“Every team goes through it. You’re going to have nights where it just doesn’t go your way,” he said. “But it’s not about that in the NHL. It’s about how you respond; learning from it, getting better and not letting it snowball. … I think it’s important to let it hurt for a little bit after the game, but then to spend yesterday getting over it, and today, getting back to work and back to what we do.”

Check.

The Jets were back on the ice today at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke preparing for Wednesday’s encounter with the 2-7-2 Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Babcock-led squad scored an impressive 4-1 victory over the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars yesterday at Air Canada Centre.

“The one thing about them is that they work hard every night. It’s going to be a difficult game for us tomorrow,” Wheeler said. “I think they’re trying to do a lot of what we do from a defensive standpoint. They had a real strong game (Monday), so it’s going to be a good challenge –
something we’ve got to be ready for.”

The Jets had the day off Monday in downtown Toronto, giving players ample opportunity to rest up and spend time with one another. Today, it was about getting back down to business and putting
all their attention on the next opponent.

“I thought everyone did a good job today to get ready for tomorrow’s game,” Myers said. “Whenever you have a game like (Sunday’s), it should add motivation for your next game, to want to perform better as a group. It’s an 82-game season and we know games like that are going to happen at
some point.

“We want to be a team that handles it well and rebounds nicely.”

NO SUPPLEMENTAL DISCIPLINE

Earlier today Dustin Byfuglien had a phone hearing with the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety regarding what they described as an “illegal check to the head” of Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher.

It was announced after practice that Byfuglien would not face any supplemental discipline for the hit.

“In the case they’re looking at now, I play the puck and have no intention to try and hit him. I’m trying to go up ice on a delayed [penalty] call,” Byfuglien said before the decision was
announced.

“I honestly didn’t even think about it. I didn’t really know what was going on. Hockey’s a fast game. Things happen.”

The Department cited “significant hip contact with Gallagher’s hands, then subsequent contact with Gallagher’s upper body… while keeping his elbow tucked and his skates on the ice” as reasons for
the decision.

“Most of what (Byfuglien) does is bump into guys,” Head Coach Paul Maurice said. “He’s that powerful.”

COPP DAY-TO-DAY

Andrew Copp did not practice today as he continues to nurse an undisclosed injury. He remains day-to-day, but will not be available to play in either of the next two games.

“We’ll have a better idea when we get back to Winnipeg,” Maurice said.

– Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com

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