Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jets Look for Offensive Tweaks from Predators under New Coach Laviolette

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jets Look for Offensive Tweaks from Predators under New Coach Laviolette

Article excerpt

Jets open homestand against Predators


WINNIPEG - The Jets are expecting a new kind of offence from the Nashville Predators when the two teams meet Friday in Winnipeg's home opener.

After 15 seasons under Winnipeg-born Barry Trotz, the Predators changed horses when they missed the playoffs for a second straight season, replacing Trotz with Peter Laviolette. They also added forwards James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and Olli Jokinen, who played the last two seasons with the Jets.

"They've got a new coach but they've got new faces too," said Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice, who only took over the Jets in the middle of the last season. "They're trying to implement more of the offensive game that we've seen with other teams that Pete's coached."

Laviolette comes to Nashville from the Philadelphia Flyers but also won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

"They're aggressive and on the puck and they like to control it and hang onto it and create as much confusion in the offensive zone as they can," Maurice added. "But right now they look like pretty much every other team in the NHL. They're trying to play well defensively and when they get something going they've got some good players."

The Jets (1-2), as Maurice starts his first full season as head coach, are still trying to forge their identity and he wants it to start with a strong defensive game, much like the one Trotz brought to Nashville.

"What we're all striving to achieve is that consistency in the game you play," he said. "I think what (Nashville) got to be is they got to be really consistent in one style of game and they just played it very, very well."

The Jets and Predators (2-0-1) have a few things in common besides Jokinen, who will be back for his first game since the Jets cut him loose at the end of last season.

They both entered the NHL at around the same time in the late 1990s as part of the league's southern U. …

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