With the playoffs no longer a possibility, the Winnipeg Jets have already turned their attention to the beginning of next season. It never hurts to plan ahead.
On Wednesday, head coach Paul Maurice, who took over in January when Claude Noel was fired, put his players through a bag skate for the final 50 minutes of practice, according to Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press.
The Jets, who sit 12th in the Western Conference, have only two games remaining in their season. In their home finale, The Jets host the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. But Wednesday was all about getting in some skating. Based on what Maurice told the local media, it appears there was a method to this.
“At the end of the year, we’re going to have our individual meetings and I’m going to tell them that one of the areas that we will look to improve is our overall group fitness,” Maurice said, as per the Winnipeg Free Press.
“Then I’m going to tell them I want them to be prepared for a tougher training camp than perhaps you’re used to.”
For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.
Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.
Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.
Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.
Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.
With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.
That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:
Leafs rookie record watch:
GOALS – 35 Matthews ASSISTS – 40 Marner tied with Bodnar POINT STREAK – 12 games Nylander SHG – 3 Hyman
The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.
The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)
“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”