WINNIPEG - Shuffling through the positives from Wednesday's Game 1 loss to the St. Louis Blues and you have to immediately think that Josh Morrissey's return has to be near the top of the list for the Winnipeg Jets.
"Feeling good. It's nice to be back last night, obviously. It would be hard to describe the feeling of coming back and it being the first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs," said Morrissey during the team's media availability on Thursday morning.
"It took me a little bit to get going through the first period, but I thought after that I settled in. Happy with how I played in the second and third and kind of as I got more comfortable and felt like I just started to play hockey again."
Paul Maurice joked on Monday that he was going to try and keep Morrissey under 30 minutes. It turned out that he wasn't joking since Morrissey ended up playing 17:15 which was fifth amongst the Jets defencemen in Game 1.
A good chunk of that ice time was spent with Jacob Trouba neutralizing the Blues top line of Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and Ryan O'Reilly. The St. Louis trio were kept off the scoresheet and were held to just five shots.
"They are a great line. They've been on quite a tear this year. O'Reilly has had an awesome season," said Morrissey.
"They're going to be a key in this series and we're going to have to do our best to limit their opportunities, their chances. But they are good players they are going to get some. It's a chess match. It's the playoffs. Its about adjustments on both sides to see how you can get the edge."
The Jets were one of three teams on the opening night of the playoffs to lose on home ice along with Tampa Bay and Nashville.
"We're very confident at home. Our fans are unbelievable. We think the amount of energy they bring to the building gives us the boost," said Morrissey.
"At the same time, you are trying to win four games whether they come at home or on the road. Obviously it's nice when they're at home and you get the ovation at the end of the game. At the end of the day it's about trying to win four games so now looking ahead we have to win four of the next six and that's all really what we're focused on."