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Training Camp Notebook: Day 3

Players excited to get into game action

by Tyler Esquivel @TylerAEsquivel /

WINNIPEG - It was back to business on Sunday for the Winnipeg Jets as both groups went through an 80-minute practice session at Bell MTS Iceplex. 

With two high-tempo skates under their belt, it's on to game action for the Jets who play in Edmonton on Monday night. While Winnipeg's roster hasn't been set for opening exhibition game, centre Adam Lowry is excited for game action. 

"We'd all rather be playing games," said Lowry. 

"It's nice to practice when we practice but it's a lot better to go out there and implement them in the games and kind of work on (certain areas of the game) in a high-competitive environment. Hopefully we're able to take those things and hit the ground running when the regular season starts."

Video: TRAINING CAMP | Adam Lowry

Roster turnover is simply a fact of life in the NHL and the Jets are no exception. One player in camp looking to make the most of an opportunity is defenceman, Nathan Beaulieu. After being acquired at the deadline, the 26-year-old is looking forward to playing in Winnipeg for a full season. 

"My time here at the end of last season was fun," said Beaulieu. 

"I had a lot of good moments, good experiences. It was special to be a part of getting back into the playoffs, so I'm excited to be here from day one."

In addition to Beaulieu, fellow blueliner Dmitry Kulikov is also in line for an increased role this season. Head Coach Paul Maurice says he's liked both players in the early days of camp and hopes they'll cease the opportunity. 

"Both guys came back, they saw what happened this summer - even if they hadn't they were hungry to get more, to be given an opportunity - they knew they were going to get it. They made the most of their summer and now they are going to get that chance to play," said Maurice.


After Andrei Chibisov was swapped into the first group for Joona Luoto, here were the line rushes from the early skate. 



*later on, Pionk skated alongside Stanley and Morrissey played with Poolman.


For the second day in a row, Sami Niku, Kristian Vesalainen and Skyler McKenzie skated in-between the two groups. Maurice says they aren't taking any chances with Niku and Vesalainen who were involved in a 'fender bender' earlier this week. 

"We just ran two heavy days. We're not flowing up and down the ice, there is an awful lot of contact," said Maurice.

"It's not easy for these guys to hop into that because (Monday) is - for the non-game group - going to be hard heavy hockey so we're waiting for these guys to get to the point where the thought of taking a hit doesn't frighten them. They're still a little bit sore now, so we're waiting on them."

Video: TRAINING CAMP | Andrew Copp

A welcome sight in the second group was centre Andrew Copp who missed Saturday's opening practice. Copp said he felt good on Sunday and is ready to push more and more as training camp continues.

"I'm worried about the first game in New York more so than anything else right now," said Copp.

"Obviously you want to get back with the team as soon as possible but I wasn't going to try and push this the first day especially in the first couple days. If you don't feel all the way ready, it can get out of hand quickly so I'm just wanting to make sure I'm doing the right things and I think we took the right amount of time. I felt good today so hopefully it continues."

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