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Travel day notebook: Nov 12, 2017

Jets head home after going 2-1-0 on three-game trip

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

GLENDALE, Arizona - Sunday was a travel day for the Winnipeg Jets, who elected to stay in Arizona after last night's 4-1 win over the Coyotes.

The club finished with four of a possible six points on the three-game trek, with the other win coming in Dallas on Nov. 6.

The only blemish on the trip came Friday night in Las Vegas, when the Jets dropped a 5-2 decision to the Golden Knights.

Overall, the Jets record sits at 9-4-3, and bouncing back from losses like the one in Vegas to get two points the next night is a sign of growth, according to captain Blake Wheeler.

"It's a calmness and a maturity to know that it doesn't matter what the other team's record is, it doesn't matter the situation. It's just realizing that we had a tough game (Friday), and we're not going to come out and blow the doors off in the first period (on Saturday)," said Wheeler.

"I think Paul (Maurice) has done a fantastic job of preparing us for each game. Our preparation has been spot on all year, and our bench has been great. …We've had success doing it. At the end of the day if you have success doing it, seeing results is going to give you some confidence."

Video: POST GAME | Blake Wheeler

POTENT POWER PLAY

Speaking of confidence, the Jets power play is clicking along at 24.1 per cent, the fifth best mark in the NHL. Mark Scheifele's goal on the man advantage last night was not only his 100th career NHL goal, it also marked the fifth straight game the Jets have scored at least one power play goal.

"It's the movement. That's been the general theme," said head coach Paul Maurice. "I think when you look at trying to identify why our power play has gotten better and put pucks to the net, it's faster and it's moving quicker, and we're not nearly as stationary in our positioning."

In the last seven games, the Jets have scored nine times on 23 power play opportunities. Three of those have come from Scheifele, while another three have come off the stick of Patrik Laine.

Part of the success may be from a rotation Scheifele and Laine have used, giving each of them a chance to shoot from their off wing.

"It started really with the 4-on-3 goal that Scheifele scored from the half wall. Then he and Patrik started to interchange quite a bit," said Maurice. "We know Blake and Dustin will do that as well. Now you've got more movement, which just makes you faster, which would also be also the thing that we'd like to think has been the difference in our five-on-five game as well."

Video: POST GAME | Paul Maurice

BOUNCING BACK

While they still generated scoring chances, the loss in Vegas was a night to forget for Wheeler, Scheifele, and Dustin Byfuglien.

The three were a combined -11 that night, but bounced back to accumulate a +5 rating in Arizona.

"I thought all three of our captains had great bounce back games. They were the guys that you have such a high level of expectation for their play," said Maurice. "The other thing to remember too, and I'm not admonishing it, it was a loss in the National Hockey League. That happens. We weren't that bad. We weren't as good as we think we'd like to be. We were a little bit off.

"Those guys didn't score, and they got scored against. So they needed to come back and play like they did (Saturday), and they did."

Wheeler is third in league scoring with 23 points, while Scheifele is tied for seventh with 21 points after his goal and assist against Arizona.

Video: WPG@ARI: Connor, Scheifele combine for nifty goal

INJURY UPDATES

After missing last night's win in Arizona, Mathieu Perreault has now been out 11 games with the lower-body injury he sustained in a win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 14.

The 29-year-old has been skating with the team, and has progressed past a non-contact jersey into full participation.

"I still want him to get through a practice where he's not favouring it at all," said Maurice. "We're not going to hurry this one, but he's closing in on (a return)."

Tyler Myers left last night's win over Arizona after his leg got twisted up with Arizona's Christian Dvorak just outside the crease in Winnipeg's zone. The 6'8" defenceman didn't put much weight on his leg while he was leaving the ice, but was able to return to the bench and play the final 17 seconds of regulation time.

"Great that he came back. We had our orthopaedic surgeon here to take a look at him. So we'll get a look at him again tomorrow. But he' s a big piece we don't want to lose," said Maurice. "Especially the way he went down. Those are always the worst. It doesn't look bad, but on the replay we thought he had caught his ankle. Those can be real nasty."

UP NEXT

The Jets open a three-game home stand Tuesday night with a rematch against the Arizona Coyotes (2-14-3), followed by match-ups with two Eastern Conference opponents in the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils on Thursday and Saturday.

Tuesday night is also a special night, as a fourth member of the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame will see his name added to a list that includes Ulf Nilsson, Anders Hedberg, and Bobby Hull.

Dale Hawerchuk, who recorded 929 points as a member of the Jets, will see his number 10 go up in the rafters at Bell MTS Place in a special ceremony prior to puck drop.

For ticket information and event details, head to WinnipegJets.com/tickets.

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