WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets said they can make the necessary changes to be more competitive in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The Jets lost 5-3 in Game 1 of the best-of-7 series after the Canadiens took a 3-1 lead in the first period. Montreal traveled to Winnipeg on Tuesday and played against the Toronto Maple Leafs two days after winning Game 7 to make a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the first round.
Winnipeg last played on May 24 when it completed a four-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers.
“I think at this point we just had a meeting to discuss our game and the areas we think we can improve on, things we can do better,” said defender Jets. Josh Morrissey said Thursday. “I think we have enough experience in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs] now that whether it be a big win or a loss you need to turn the page and refocus.
“The play-offs are a bit of a chess game. You have to make adjustments along the way. As I said, we had a good meeting. We are trying to refocus and prepare for tomorrow night.”
Video: Price stops 27, Canadiens beat Jets in Game 1, 5-3
One of the Jets’ major changes this season has been a more responsible, tighter playoff style. It was a painful transition that occurred during their seven-game losing streak from April 17 to May 3. Once implemented, they won three of their last five regular season games (3-2-0), while conceding nine goals and four tight goals. games against the Oilers, three going into overtime.
Winnipeg also started the playoffs with injuries. forward Pierre-Luc Dubois (not disclosed) and Nikolai Ehlers (upper body) each missed a 4-1 win against Edmonton in Game 1. Dubois returned for Game 2 and Ehlers for Game 3, when he scored in overtime.
Injuries are also part of the storyline in the second round.
Centre Paul Stastny missed Game 1 against the Canadiens with an undisclosed injury and is day to day. defender Dylan De Melo did not return from his first serve on Wednesday and his status for Game 2 is unknown.
“I think we are now much better equipped to deal with an injury like that,” attacker Andrew Coppea said. “So guys will have to stand up… if that’s the case. We have to find a way to win the next game. I think that’s all we’re worried about right now.”
The Jets can also be without a center Mark Scheifele, who was awarded a large penalty and misspelling at 7:03 PM of Game 1’s third period for reprimanding Canadiens forward Jake Evans. Scheifele has a hearing with the NHL’s Player Safety Department on Thursday.
Absences are part of the adjustments, Copp said, and he is one of Winnipeg’s versatile forwards who can play center and wing. In addition to the regular centers Scheifele, Dubois, Stastny, Adam Lowry and Nate Thompson, the Jets have Copp, Blake Wheeler and Mathieu Perreault, each of whom has NHL experience on the job.
“I’ve gotten a little bit used to switching back and forth between the center and the wing over the past few years,” said Copp. “We’re deeper now than we had been. It’s kind of a next-man-up mentality. We’ve had a lot of injuries. Maybe not as much this year, but over the course of my career here.
“I think we’ve had enough setbacks here over time that losing one game in the playoffs won’t change our faith or our trust in each other.”
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