WINNIPEG - One cup just wasn't enough. Two or three? Now we're talking.
Coffee cures all, right?
Following a hard-fought 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Stars last night, the Jets landed back in Winnipeg at 2:05am CT and, depending on the time to drive home, many were in bed about a half hour later, giving most about five or six hours of proper pillow time before heading back to the rink for another day.
Most of the players got a proper night's rest with a team meeting and off-ice workout (and a light skate for some) beginning at noon, but after a physical night in the Big D, there definitely some weary eyes around the dressing room.
But that didn't stop anyone from having a productive day.
"They're used to it by now," Head Coach Paul Maurice said. "You try to factor in the drive from the airport to their home, and from their home to the rink, and try to get nine hours in between. We kept (most of) them off the ice today and tried to work in some different recovery. We went through the things that we wanted to make sure stay in our game, and some other areas that we wanted to work on before tomorrow's game."
Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice
Following Thursday's rematch with the Tyler Seguin-led Stars, the Jets will hop on a flight to Denver where they will play the Colorado Avalanche at 7:00pm the very next night, meaning the team will get a similar amount of sleep in the Mile High City before that pivotal Central Division matchup Friday at Pepsi Center.
The club will then spend the night (a rarity) and travel home Saturday before hosting the Buffalo Sabres in a matinee Sunday at MTS Centre.
"I like to get out of out town as soon as possible and move on to the next mission," Maurice said of how the Jets travel 95 percent of the time. "The time cut off for me is about two o'clock in the morning. If you can get to where you need to get to by two, you can recover pretty well from that. We work off blocks of hours, how much time we allot for (the players) to be sleeping before we get them up and not give them as many complete off days, but do more active recovery."
Here's how it breaks down after that:
The Jets will then play 10 of their next 16 on the road, with three sets of back-to-backs in U.S. cities in the mountain, pacific and eastern time zones. In addition, the team must be given four full off days per month, and travel days don't count. With the November calendar as crammed as it is, three of them are expected to come on the road over next month-and-a-half - and in total, the Jets will not have two consecutive (non game) days at home until Dec. 12 and 13.
Better pack well, boys.
Video: PRACTICE | Mathieu Perreault
Drew Stafford left last night's game late in the first period and did not return with an upper-body injury. Maurice confirmed he will not play tomorrow and officially listed as day-to-day. With three games and three-and-a-half days this weekend, the Jets may recall a forward from the Manitoba Moose prior to tomorrow's rematch with the Stars.
- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com