WINNIPEG - Thursday marked the second consecutive day of practice for the Winnipeg Jets, which may not be as big of a deal for players that have been with the team all season, but to the newest defenceman Joe Morrow, it was much appreciated.
"Getting thrown into a game right away was hard. It was like going to a different high school, learning a whole new curriculum and having to take the test right away," said Morrow, who played his first game as Jet a day after being traded to Winnipeg.
"You've got such a great group of guys here that pick you up when you fall down. It's really nice to see such quality individuals helping you out every step along the way, and these two practices were super helpful for sure."
Video: PRACTICE | Joe Morrow
Blake Wheeler was quizzed about what the last two days have meant for his friend and new teammate Paul Stastny. The Jets captain feels the 806 games Stastny has played in his NHL career makes for an easier transition.
"It helps him get more familiarity with the two guys he's playing with (Laine and Ehlers)," said Wheeler. "But they looked pretty good the other night (Tuesday vs. Nashville), (and) obviously they can build off of that."
Head coach Paul Maurice also stressed that Stastny's experience is beneficial, especially during what could be a stressful time for any player traded around the league's deadline.
Video: PRACTICE | Blake Wheeler
"He's played with a lot of different players," said Maurice. "(He) picks up their tendencies, what holes they get into quickly, and where to put the puck. They look like they've got chemistry going."
Both Bryan Little (illness) and Connor Hellebuyck (maintenance) returned to the ice after missing Wednesday's practice, and here are the line rushes they went with:
Connor - Scheifele - Wheeler
Perreault - Little - Roslovic
Ehlers - Stastny - Laine
Hendricks - Copp - Armia
Morrissey - Byfuglien
Kulikov - Myers
Morrow - Chiarot
Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice
Toby Enstrom did not take part of practice and will miss Friday's game against the Detroit Red Wing. Enstrom was hit by a shot in practice on Monday and remains day-to-day with a lower body injury, though Maurice believes it won't keep Enstrom out long-term.
"He left (Monday's practice) walking and feeling good," explained Maurice. "Came back, still thought he was alright, (and it) just got a little more swollen. We've got healthy bodies, (so we'll) be careful with it."
As for Jets goaltender Steve Mason, he will be returning to the net soon - but it won't be in the NHL, at least for this weekend.
"(He's) going to play a game with the Moose to get into a game on the weekend and then we'll go from there." said Maurice.
While the Jets are off tonight, there are a few games on the NHL schedule that directly affect them.
The Predators will use up their game in hand on Winnipeg as they visit the Oilers. A Nashville win means there would be six points separating the two rivals for first in the division. Minnesota and Dallas could pull within two and five points of the Jets respectively if they win their games this evening.