Laine work in progress

Patrik Laine says he’s just not feeling it yet. But the Winnipeg Jets sniper figures a few pre-season games should have him and his linemates primed for regular-season action.

“Our game is not ready. And it’s not supposed to (be),” Laine said Friday before hitting the ice against the Calgary Flames at Bell MTS Place. “We’re getting there. It’s finally nice to get the games going and get some good workouts and good practices on the ice. But for now it’s been pretty good.”

Laine was asked specifically what doesn’t feel up to par just yet.

“Just all-around. Skating’s not ready. Hands are definitely not ready. Shot is not ready. And my head is not there. But there’s still two weeks… It is pretty typical. Last year it took me almost to January to get me going. Hopefully I can get myself going earlier,” said Laine.

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Patrik Laine says he’s just not feeling it yet. But the Winnipeg Jets sniper figures a few pre-season games should have him and his linemates primed for regular-season action.

“Our game is not ready. And it’s not supposed to (be),” Laine said Friday before hitting the ice against the Calgary Flames at Bell MTS Place. “We’re getting there. It’s finally nice to get the games going and get some good workouts and good practices on the ice. But for now it’s been pretty good.”

Laine was asked specifically what doesn’t feel up to par just yet.

“Just all-around. Skating’s not ready. Hands are definitely not ready. Shot is not ready. And my head is not there. But there’s still two weeks… It is pretty typical. Last year it took me almost to January to get me going. Hopefully I can get myself going earlier,” said Laine.

● ● ●

Jets head coach Paul Maurice is experimenting with his blue-line.

Tyler Myers, a right-shot, is getting a look on the left side with Dustin Byfuglien. Dmitry Kulikov, a left-shot, skated Friday night on the right side with Ben Chiarot . Lefty Joe Morrow skated on the right side in Thursday night’s pre-season loss against the Oilers.

“I’ve got a pretty strong idea of who I think fits on the right side the best. We may get to the point where we go back to natural sides, righties and lefties. But I think we’ve got an option here that works very well,” Maurice said of the mixing and matching.

“You go in a game where you’ve lost a lefty or two lefties and you slide guys over and it’s no big deal. They’re comfortable with it. Then you can dress a more veteran lineup, you don’t have to bring guys up from the minors to get a lefty or righty. Just let them slide over. As long as the performance is there it’s good for your team.”

● ● ●

The waiting finally ended Friday night for Winnipeg’s top line.

Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor made their pre-season debut, hoping to pick up where they left off last season as one of the most dangerous trios in the NHL.

“It’s exciting to get back into a game. It feels like forever,” said Scheifele Friday morning.

● ● ●

Defenceman Nelson Nogier, who missed most of last season with a shoulder injury suffered in his first pre-season game with the Manitoba Moose, was in the Jets lineup Friday.

Nogier had a 10-game call-up with the Jets late in the 2016-17 season when Winnipeg’s blue-line was hit with a rash of injuries. Now the 22-year-old Nogier is trying to work his way back into the form that made him one of the organization’s most promising young defensive prospects after skating for just 13 games with the Moose last year.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
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Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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