The Winnipeg Jets
will be the final NHL club to make its 2011-12 debut.
The Jets are in the midst of a nine-day break that will end Sunday when they host the Montreal Canadiens
(4 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC, RDS) in the city’s first regular-season NHL game in more than 15 years.
Coach Claude Noel
’s club has not been in game competition since last Friday, when they lost a shootout to the visiting Nashville Predators
. The club missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, so other than international competition and playoff time logged with other clubs, most of the Jets have not seen regular-season competition in nearly six months.
Left wing Tanner Glass
is an exception among the group. Glass spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks
and was in the lineup for the Stanley Cup Final Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins
Playing that late meant a shortened offseason but Glass, whose busy summer included signing with the Jets on July 1 and getting married, is ready to go.
"For me personally, I'd like to get it going," Glass said. "Even though it has been a short summer for me, the season is here. Right now, it feels like we should get going."
Whether the extended break is a benefit is a matter of debate. The delay does allow additional time to hammer out systems and team play for a young club adjusting to a new city and a new coach. The Canadiens already will have played a game by Sunday.
"It all depends on how you handle it, right?" defenseman Mark Stuart
said of the time off. "If we don't put our work in practice, then they might have an advantage. If we do, then I think it's pretty even. We have a chance to get some good practice time. As long we do the right things, we'll be ready to go."