The Winnipeg Jets have scored a respectable 62 goals in 24 games, and they’ve done it without one of their top weapons. Bryan Little has been out since being injured just two and a half minutes into his season, but will return tonight against the New Jersey Devils on home ice. The 29-year old is a proven goal scorer in the NHL, with 163 to his name including four seasons of 20+. The Jets have placed Nic Petan on injured reserve retroactive to November 27th to make room.
While the media has focused on the Jets’ lack of faceoff success, Little thinks he can help the team in that department.
That’s one of my goals to come back. It’s something I feel like I can be good at right away again, to get back into the faceoff dot. I see the guys working on it every day, they’re talking to the coaches, watching video and practicing in practice.
I think we can all help each other a bit. Throughout the game we take faceoffs against different centermen on the other team…we’ve got some good communication through the centers of trying to work through things.
Little is actually a 48.6% faceoff man throughout his career, though he won just over half of his draws last season which led the Winnipeg centers.
- According to Jon Rosen of NHL.com, Brayden McNabb took to the ice today for the first time since injuring his collarbone on October 29th. While he didn’t take part in any drills, it’s a step in the right direction for the big defenseman. Rosen passes on from head coach Darryl Sutter that McNabb is still “at least a month away”. The 25-year old had been logging over 20 minutes a night for the Los Angeles Kings before being injured, skating alongside Drew Doughty in what was considered by some to be the second-best pairing in the league. The Kings, not short on defenders, have continued to be tough to score against even without McNabb or Jonathan Quick, who remains out.
- Jonathan Toews will miss his third straight game tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers. The team captain was seen in street clothes while the team was practicing, meaning his return might not be imminent. Chicago is 1-1-1 without Toews in the lineup, having lost to the Kings in overtime on Saturday.