The Winnipeg Jets are officially back on the ice in preparation for their first round "play-in" matchup against the Calgary Flames early next month. The boys are flying, ripping shots and throwing the body. Well... almost all of them. Jets sniper Patrik Laine, never one to keep a soundbite to himself, admitted to Winnipeg reporters that he's not exactly feeling it just yet.
Check it out:
“It’s kind of hard to see myself playing playoff hockey in two weeks.”
Patrik Laine says he will be ready when the time comes but that he’s not… quite… there… yet.
Fair enough. To be honest, it's kind of hard to see myself WATCHING playoff hockey in two weeks. I mean, it's the middle of July after all.
In any case, things seem to be on track with regards to the NHL's Return to Play plan even if Laine hasn't been paying attention.
More from The Athletic's Murat Ates:
Patrik Laine says he didn’t check the CBA negotiations at all.
“I have no idea what’s in there.”
And: “I just work here.”
Does say he paid attention to escrow though.
How can you not absolutely love this guy? He says exactly what's on his mind which, to be fair, isn't much.
In any case, Laine's coach Paul Maurice isn't concerned with this star player's disposition. In fact, he's excited to see what Laine can bring and went out of his way to praise the young forward's progression this season.
Again from Ates:
"This is the year that he took a really big jump in his 5-on-5 game, in his all around play."
Paul Maurice on Patrik Laine.
"Some of that is you don't try to make a play every time you have the puck," Maurice adds.
"The other teams get paid to play too."
One thing's for sure, if the Jets get a motivated and productive Laine in their first round "play in" series against the Flames... watch out! There are very few players in the league with Laine's skills and he can break a game wide open in a split second. Imagine having a secret weapon like Laine on the ice late in a close game. I can't wait for this series! Let's go!