WINNIPEG - After a successful road trip, to say the least, the Winnipeg Jets returned to Bell MTS Place ice for the first time since Oct. 22 for a 40-minute practice.
One of the biggest question marks heading into the day was the status of defenceman Tucker Poolman who left during the first period in Saturday's win over Vegas with an upper body injury. Poolman did not take part of the skate on Monday and Paul Maurice said the defenceman is day-to-day.
"There is no mechanism of injury. He just wasn't feeling right after the first period (in Vegas)," said Maurice.
"So we're holding him off and he's going to get a bunch of tests (done) on him."
Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice
This is par for the course for the Jets considering it's been a revolving door on the blueline due to injuries this season. Nathan Beaulieu once again wore a red jersey and is getting closer to returning and there is a chance he plays against the Devils on Tuesday.
"I believe he will be (in the lineup) based on today," said Maurice.
"But we will have to check on that tomorrow just to make sure nothing changes. But he got through practice today and felt strong, felt right. (He) wanted a full practice coming off a non-skating day that he could get pushed and he did a little bit of grinding and he felt good."
Beaulieu says he is feeling great and as good as this road trip was for the team, the 26-year-old has found it quite frustrating to have to be an observer instead of a participant.
"Extremely, extremely tough. Especially with all the bumps and bruises and ins and outs that we've had on the back end, you really want to be out there," said Beaulieu.
"I'm getting closer. Today was another good day for me so it's just one day at a time."
Video: PRACTICE | Nathan Beaulieu
FINDING WAYS TO WIN
As crazy as this season has been with key personnel missing on the back end due to injuries and off-season departures the Jets have managed to put together a 6-1 record in one-goal games. It truly speaks to the mental toughness that this season's team has put on display time and time again.
"A lot and good goaltending. I thought Bucky and LB have been great," said Beaulieu.
"Our d-core has been great and there is a lot of new faces so you expect a lot of changes and adversity. I think the guys have a done a great job so far."
Video: PRACTICE | Jack Roslovic
SPEAKING OF THE POWER PLAY
While the Winnipeg power play still hasn't reached its status of the last couple of seasons, sitting at 15.7% efficiency as of Monday, it has come through with some timely goals. Josh Morrissey's power play marker at the Heritage Classic tied the game late in the third leading to a 2-1 OT win. Mathieu Perreault scored on the power play in Vegas which started the comeback from being down 3-1 in the third period.
So at practice today Perreault was with Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor and Morrissey. Patrik Laine moved down with Nikolaj Ehlers, Bryan Little, Jack Roslovic and Neal Pionk on unit two.
"We just got stuck with the one unit (Scheifele, Laine, Wheeler, Morrisey and Connor). We went 10, 12 games and we weren't getting near enough action on it," said Maurice.
"So we switched it over. Patty was out, Matty Perreault went in that slot and we got a bunch of good looks from it the game prior. So we leave and that's a pretty big goal that he score's obviously. So there's a bunch of things that we like there."