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Practice Day Notebook: Jets new look power play generating chances

Jets begin four game road trip Thursday in Florida

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets are three games into the separation of Blake Wheeler and Mark Schefiele from the team's top power play unit. Tuesday night marked the first time the new look power play didn't score a goal on two opportunities in the 4-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

However, they did generate seven shots and some real good looks against the NHL's second best penalty kill unit on the road.

"The opportunities they've generated have been solid. We're moving the puck quick," said Paul Maurice.

"Too many good players have to sit on the bench so we'd like them to get close to a minute each (of power play time) and driving. Opportunities and zone time are way up from where we started."

Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice

Kyle Connor had two of his four shots with the man advantage last night. While the new units have been together for less than a week, to him it didn't take long to get comfortable with the Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers, Andrew Copp and Josh Morrissey. 

"I think you gain more chemistry the more reps you get," said Connor.

"I think right away (with) those types of players you just kind of read off each other and we operate at a high pace and that's what makes us successful."

Video: PRACTICE | Kyle Connor

The Jets fired 40 shots on goal at rookie netminder Adam Werner and while they did get some quality chances, Maurice said last night that he felt that they passed up a lot of offence against Colorado especially in the first period.

"When you have skilled guys, the kind of margins that they work in are they are going to look for those skilled plays too much," said Maurice when asked about how he gets his message across to his players.

"You certainly don't want to be screaming at them to shoot the puck so there's a fine line. There is a narrower band that we want to get to the idea that everybody thinks they are a shooter first all the time and then makes the decision not to be at the end. Not in the reverse order where we slow ourselves down to try and find a pass, to try and find a play where we end up doing is eliminating the opportunity to do either." 

POOLMAN FEELING MORE CONFIDENT

Tucker Poolman couldn't have a better defence partner to learn the NHL game from than Josh Morrissey. The 26-year-old has spent a lot of time watching and learning from one of the team's brightest and consistent defenceman.

"We've had a few games together since I've came back here and we've been feeling good," said Poolman who played 17:35 Tuesday night against the Avs.

"He's a real good player and easy to play off of and he'll tell me little things here and there. What we're going to do or places he'd want me to be at or just learn from each other where to be at."

Video: PRACTICE | Tucker Poolman

Poolman had a key part in the tying goal against the Dallas Stars on Sunday afternoon and two nights later he was jumping into the play and driving the net. There are signs that his offensive game is starting to shine here as each minute goes by.

"Compared to preseason stuff, yeah maybe a little bit," said Poolman.

"But if it's there I'm just trying to help out where I can so I'm not trying to force it."

Connor Hellebuyck was the only player who did not take part of the 45 minute practice at Bell MTS Place and it was for maintenance reasons considering he has started all but one of the Jets six games this month. Here are the line rushes and defence pairings:

Connor-Scheifele-Laine 

Ehlers-Wheeler-Roslovic 

Copp-Lowry-Perreault 

Luoto-Gustafsson-Shaw 

Spacek 

Morrissey-Poolman 

Kulikov-Pionk 

Beaulieu-Sbisa 

Dahlstrom-Bitetto 

Brossoit

Michael Spacek has been called up for the trip which will cover four cities in eight days and the young forward has seven points (3G, 4A) in 14 games for the Manitoba Moose.

"We're going out on an eight day trip. We want to have an extra forward with us but it's not a positional need," said Maurice.

"So we took the guy that had been going very well from the start of the year for them."

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