The Galaxy have the weekend off before resuming preparations

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WINNIPEG -- It was back to business for the Winnipeg Jets Wednesday, as
they skated for the first time since the Olympic break and prepared to
resume their quest for the playoff berth that has eluded the franchise
for so many years. Mathias Kiwanuka Giants Jersey .
With 22 games left and just over a week till they play again, coach Paul
Maurice says he wants to get started right away sharpening defensive
neutral zone play and forechecking without the puck.
"Our sole focus is trying to find ways that we can be more aggressive
with it," he said.
The Jets were still minus their four Olympians -- forwards Olli Jokinen,
Blake Wheeler and Michael Frolik, plus No. 1 netminder Ondrej Pavelec
remain in Sochi -- but they made up for that with a healthy
Evander Kane, Jim Slater and Matt Halischuk, all back from the injury
list.
Slater was out the longest after sports hernia surgery in Montreal. The
centre and one of the teams faceoff leaders last played Oct. 18 but he
says he now feels strong and ready to compete.
Its a far different team than the one he left, with the Jets on a roll
since Maurice took over from Claude Noel. They now sit just two points
out of that coveted playoff spot.
Slater says its always tough to be on the sidelines when a new coach
comes in.
"The slates wiped clean and when you cant get out there and play and
show him what youve got, its definitely tough, you dont know where you
fit in," he said.
But Maurice helped to set his mind at ease.
"Ive played against Paul a lot of my career when he was in Carolina, so
we had a talk, he knows what kind of player I am and just wanted me to
get healthy, come back strong and ready to go."
The focus may be on getting his team ready for their first game Feb. 27
when the Phoenix Coyotes visit Winnipeg, but Maurice says hes still
arranged practice Friday to let the team watch Canada and the U.S. play
in the Olympics.
"Weve moved practice so that we can get together and watch that as a
team," he said.
"Its a big deal so we want to respect that and enjoy it. . . At the end
of the day hockey events are what were all about, right, and this is a
big game."
Its been seven years since the Atlanta Thrashers were swept in the first
round of the NHL playoffs in their only appearance.
Kane last played Jan. 26 in Chicago. He was out twice with an injured
hand, the second time after what turned out to be a premature return
resulted in an infection that saw his hand swell to the size of a
baseball.
He says hes sure hell be ready to go Feb. 27 and he likes where the Jets
are now sitting.
"We put ourselves in a position now where we can make a push and we have
a legitimate shot to make the playoffs and contend," he said.
"The last part of the schedule we play the teams that kind of bunched in
with us so its going to be an good opportunity for us to make a push
and finish off strong."
Team captain Andrew Ladd says the time to practice will help the Jets
get their pace back up.
"I think that was the best part of our game, the last 10 games or so . .
We were playing (with) speed and confidence and weve got to find a way
to get that back."
He said its also good to see players like Slater and Halischuk return
after long absences.
"Its nice to have some extra bodies."


Shane Vereen Giants Jersey . - Leon Draisaitl scored a hat trick as the Prince Albert Raiders
stormed past the Swift Current Broncos 5-2 in Western Hockey League
action Tuesday. Peyton Hillis Giants Jersey .
The future hall of famers stole the show at the Bell Centre on Tuesday
night, with Jagr moving into seventh place in all-time goal scoring and
Brodeur stopping 29 shots as the Devils downed the Montreal Canadiens
4-1.LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Robbie Rogers agreed to a multiyear contract
extension with the LA Galaxy on Thursday.The Galaxy didnt announce the
terms of their deal with Rogers, the first openly gay player in
MLS.Rogers has excelled since becoming a full-time defender this season,
starting 15 games and contributing two assists as a left back. The
27-year-old former wing is a key starter for the Galaxy, the leagues
best defensive team.Thrilled to have re-signed with @ LAGalaxy, Rogers
wrote in a post on his Twitter account. Thank you for your support,
patience, and belief in my abilities. Were not done yet.Rogers returned
home to his native Southern California to join the Galaxy in May 2013,
ending the former Columbus Crew stars brief retirement from soccer after
he came out.Rogers won an MLS Cup title and two Supporters Shields and
made 18 appearances for the U.S. national team during his five years in
Columbus, but retired after unsuccessful British stints with Leeds and
Stevenage.After an occasionally frustrating start with his new team in
2013, Rogers has become a valluable contributor to the Galaxy this year.
Mark Herzlich Giants Jersey. Robbie Keane, the captain of the Galaxy and the Irish national team,
recently described Rogers as likely the best left back in MLS, saying
Rogers should be strongly considered for a return to the U.S. national
team.We are excited that Robbie will remain a part of our organization
going forward, said Bruce Arena, the Galaxy coach and general manager.
He has proven to be a dynamic player in our league and an integral part
of our success this year. We look forward to his continued contributions
in the years to come.The Galaxy host Seattle next weekend to begin the
Western Conference finals. LA, which didnt allow a goal in its first two
playoff games against Real Salt Lake, is chasing its record fifth MLS
Cup championship.Rogers deal is another step toward stability for the
Galaxy, who are hoping to maintain roster continuity after Landon
Donovans impending retirement. LA finished with MLS second-best record
this season.The Galaxy have the weekend off before resuming preparations
for the Sounders.


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Posted 26 Sep 2016

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Posted 28 Sep 2018

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