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Jets prepare for clash with rested San Jose Sharks


The Winnipeg Jets have been off for a few days after ending their losing streak with a 2-1 win on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

However, they haven't been off as long as their next opponent the San Jose Sharks, who last played on Jan. 31 – a 3-2 win over Anaheim.

"Yeah, it's rare, for sure it is," said Jets' Head Coach Rick Bowness following the team's morning skate.

"I was talking to Tomas Hertl at the all-star break and that's the first thing he said, 'We don't play for two weeks until we see you.' So they're aware of it."

Even though the Sharks are well rested, Bowness noted his team needs to be focused on their own game.

"We just have to make sure we get out and get after them right away. We want to put a lot of pressure on them right away. We want to make them defend, we want to just pressure them all over the ice."

To assert that pressure, Bowness said Winnipeg needs to bury their chances early in the game and put the Sharks on their heels as quickly as possible.

It's something that hasn't happened in the previous two meetings between these teams – both games ending in 2-1 finals, one for the Jets and one for the Sharks.

"Their record might not show up, but they're actually really good. They played us really hard, both games against us. I mean, they beat us and then it was a tight one, the second one. So they work really hard, they got a young group that's pretty skilled. When they work that hard, it's hard to play against and they play us tough," said Jets' forward Cole Perfetti.

Perfetti's line was also the topic of conversation Wednesday. He has been paired with Gabe Vilardi and newly acquired centreman Sean Monahan.

The three have been held pointless since Monahan was acquired by the Jets from the Montreal Canadiens.

Perfetti said the trio is still working on building chemistry, but he feels they are close to breaking through.

"I don't think anyone expected it to be a Picasso right away. I think it takes a couple of practices, takes a couple games to get used to one another," said Perfetti.

"There's a lot to like about this line, we just got to click and I think the last couple of games, we've been just off. We've done all the right intentions and right things, just the final execution of the play wasn't there."

To help that chemistry process move a little faster, Bowness made sure Monahan's locker was set up next to Perfetti's the second he joined the team.

"They have to get to know each other. We need something out of the second line. So if they can sit together on the bench, in the dressing room, even practices, it's important," said Bowness. "You have to build that chemistry, it starts off ice."

Perfetti said he has already been having a number of conversations with Monahan and it is making the playing process easier for the pair.

"It's nice to have conversations and chat with him pre and post-practice," said Perfetti.

The line will see if they can get their first points together as the Sharks and Jets will get underway at 6:30 p.m. CT. Top Stories

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