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Practice Day Notebook: Momentum from Regina and getting pucks to the net

Laine leaves practice early, status for game against Ducks unknown

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

ANAHEIM - Usually after a win, it's easy to go back and reference video to find themes that the Winnipeg Jets liked that they'd want to apply to the next outing.

It's a little bit different when the last game was played outdoors in a football stadium.

"It's a unique game. You're playing on the snow so our game plan was a little different," said Mathieu Perreault.

"We're happy with the two points. The hockey part of it, we're going to stick to what we've been working on all year. Stay fast and get pucks to the net."

Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice

The 45 shots the Jets put on goal in the 2-1 overtime win over the Calgary Flames was the third time in 12 games they've had over 40 shots.

Overall, they sit eighth in the NHL in shots (389) on goal and 12th in missed shots (140).

But despite all those shots (and shot attempts) Winnipeg is 24th in goals scored this season, a stat Jets head coach Paul Maurice isn't concerned about just yet. 

"We've missed the net on most of our 'A' chances in the last three or four games. On just a simple pucks to the net per-game basis, we've moved into the top ten. We think we're trending in the right way there," said Maurice.

"It always seems when you're scoring you're not trying to pick the corner. It's off your stick before you have a chance to think. I do think we're trying to fit in in at times.

"We've had a number of chances down the slot that we've missed the net on. The first period of the Edmonton game, the shots were 6-1 at one point and four of our 'A' chances were from the slot that went wide or over the net.

"We're bearing down. But we're taking too much time to bear down. We're really bearing down and we need to relax a little bit. Just relax, go faster, relax. If you have a shot, you're a shooter."

Video: PRACTICE | Kyle Connor

Monday's practice came after a day off for the Jets, who will have two days between games twice on the three-game road trip, which begins Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks.

"Energy wise it will be nice to rest. Today was a good skate, but it's one of those that you get back to the hotel and you get some rest," said Perreault. "We haven't had a whole lot of days like that this year. We're going to try and take advantage of those few days here on this road trip."

SHUFFLE UP FRONT

In the third period of the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, Maurice switched up his lines putting Kyle Connor with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.

It's a trio that has spent a lot of time together since the start of the 2017-18 season (over 1,100 minutes at five-on-five according to Natural Stat Trick). So it's a comfortable spot for the 22-year-old Connor.

"My game doesn't change too much. That group of forwards has played with pretty much everybody," said Connor.

"That group has been together for the past couple of years. There have been lots of line combinations and I think every one of those players is so elite and can score different ways and make plays too. It's a good group and I think you can plug anybody into that hole and they'll have success."

Since the start of the season, Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Patrik Laine have all spent time on the wing with Scheifele and Wheeler.

In fact, Maurice has also put Ehlers and Laine with Mark Scheifele on occasion, with Wheeler and Connor skating with Saturday's overtime hero Bryan Little at points as well.

"We're not generating in those six players as much as we'd like to, so we'll give it a run," said Maurice. "Nothing is going to be permanent. Patrik isn't at 100 per cent so we'll watch his minutes a little bit."

Video: PRACTICE | Mathieu Perreault

LAINE LEAVES PRACTICE

About halfway through Monday's skate, Laine took a bit of a bump in the corner and left the session after the following drill.

Maurice said he won't know the playing status of the Finnish winger - who leads the Jets in assists with 10 and is second in points with 12 - until game day.

"It wasn't anything major," said Maurice. "He's been dealing with some nicks like everybody else."

Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu skated with the team in a non-contact jersey for the second time and continues to inch toward a return.

Maurice said Bealieu is in a "controlled" contact phase of his recovery and is hopeful to have him in the line-up near the end of the road trip that still has stops in San Jose and Las Vegas to go.

In other roster news, Logan Shaw was recalled from the Manitoba Moose on Monday, with the Jets placing forward Mason Appleton on injured reserve due to the broken bone in his foot.

Shaw has three goals and five points in eight games with the Moose so far this season.

About half an hour after the team returned to the hotel after practice, they were informed that Adam Lowry has been suspended two games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for the boarding penalty he received in the Heritage Classic.

Lowry will miss Tuesday's game against the Anaheim Ducks as well as Friday's match-up with the San Jose Sharks.

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