The National Hockey League continues to hammer out their schedule after kicking off Phase 3 of the league’s return-to-play plan.
The NHL announced the exhibition schedule and some of the start times for the start of the playoffs.
The Jets will face the Vancouver Canucks in their only exhibition game on July 29 ahead of their qualifying round series with the Calgary Flames. Puck drop is at 9:30 pm Manitoba time.
The league is staggering their start times in the first round to allow fans to watch as many as six games per day. Game one between the Jets and Flames is set for 9:30 pm on August 1. Game two will have a 1:30 pm puck drop on August 3, and the very next day, game three will start at 5:45 pm.
Start times for the rest of the series have yet to be determined.
Jets players were back on the ice on Tuesday for day two of their training camp. The pace is starting to pick up as players slowly get their conditioning back. Bit by bit, the intensity level is growing with just a little over two weeks to prepare for their series with the Flames.
“This isn’t a normal training camp,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “We felt that we would want to get them on the ice, and almost kinda condition the groins a little bit, and get them as many touches. Just get to the skating. We’re gonna get to the battling and the banging.”
“The skates already progressed,” forward Cody Eakin said. “A little faster pace today.”
The Winnipegger self-isolated in Kenora the last four months. He was just getting familiar with his new surroundings when the league shut down, appearing in only eight games with the Jets after his trade deadline deal from the Vegas Golden Knights.
“The wins were coming so it was unfortunate that it had to shut down like that,” Eakin said.
“But we get a chance to get back and get after it again.”
The 29-year-old was playing on the Jets’ second line between Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers before the break, and he’s back skating with the young duo here in training camp.
“You got two guys on your wings that can really fly,” Eakin said. “It’s fun to be a part of. Like I said, it took a couple games-the transition to learn the system and things kinda picked up. And like I said, we were chipping in.
“They are fun guys to play with.”
Read more: Winnipeg Jets announce training camp roster
But the Jets will also need their top line firing on all cylinders and head coach Paul Maurice has reunited Blake Wheeler with Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor after spending time apart earlier this year.
“I love playing with Wheels,” Scheifele said. “I love playing with KC. We’ve spent a lot of time together and had a lot of success together.”
And in a short five-game series it’ll be so important to be ready right from puck drop.
“Whatever team comes out hot is going to have the advantage,” Scheifele said. “And we got to work every single day here to make sure that we’re ready to go come game one.”
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