Pierre-Luc Dubois had three points including the overtime winner as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3

WINNIPEG – Now that the weight has been officially lifted, where does Pierre-Luc Dubois stand in the roster of the Winnipeg Jets?

Jets head coach Paul Maurice has said publicly that Dubois was acquired to be a center and doubled in reinforcing that he is going to be a long-term center, but he must at least be a temptation to keep him on the left wing on the front line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler

When a guy scores two goals (including the overtime winner in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday) and three points on his return to the lineup after missing four games with a lower body injury, finding a way to delay the inevitable – if only momentarily – just makes too much sense

Since the Jets won’t play until Thursday, when the Montreal Canadiens arrive in town, there will be a few days for the anticipation to build and for Maurice to think about the decision

Maurice has already revealed that the next step in this process is to move Dubois to the center between Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor, with Paul Stastny jumping alongside Scheifele and Wheeler

This is a trio with exceptional speed and mixes Connor’s straight line play with Ehlers’s east-west creativity

Add the bulldozer quality that Dubois brings to the table and you can’t help but see huge potential

“Yeah, I mean it was obvious He’s a very powerful man,” said Wheeler, who had three assists on Sunday and had 17 points in 18 games. “You know what I mean? You see him without his uniform and just in his shorts and t-shirt He’s a young man, but in a grown body He’s just harnessing his potential as a player Some of the little things what he does with the puck, the way he protects it and the way he can make guys miss, he’s a pretty special player “

First and foremost, for a guy who had only played two games in almost a month because of his forties and the “muscle” injury that had sidelined him for the four previous games, not having the added responsibility of being center was a clear bonus

When looking for a spot for a player to succeed, throwing him with a cross on a radiator also made a lot of sense – and there was Scheifele, extending his point streak to 10 games and his streak. five-game goals (giving him 10 scorers over the season and tied with Ehlers for team manager) Sunday night

Plugging in Dubois to play with Scheifele and Wheeler’s longtime pair, it was all about finding your comfort zone

“These are two really smart players with the puck, without the puck, in position and (on) the front failure. There’s not much the two of them can’t do on the ice,” said Dubois said “(Scheifele) and (Wheeler) made it easier for me at times, helped me when I was doing bad reads and stuff like that, but it felt good to come back with them

“You see the chemistry they have and try to read them, try to be in the right place”

Dubois found himself in the right place at the end of the second period, sliding into a quiet area in the slot machine after Scheifele picked up the low puck and brought it to Wheeler

After Scheifele equalized, Dubois passed Neal Pionk for a power play goal that gave the Jets a 3-2 lead

And when Elias Pettersson snatched a rocket in a 6v4 situation with 377 seconds left in regulation, Dubois was there to provide an exclamation mark in overtime, using a stop-and- motion. go who showed his acceleration to overtake Brock Boeser and beat Braden Holtby with a shot 27 seconds after the trio three actions

He’s been through a lot in the first six weeks of the season, although he was limited to eight games, due to a wide variety of factors

The false start and “muscle injury” (Dubois’ words when asked if it was a groin problem keeping him out) only added to the frustration

“My first game was one of those games where you kind of want to forget You just put your legs in, your hands in”, said Dubois “Second game, I felt a bit better and then this injury where I missed time so tonight to finally come out and play and then get that nice pass from (Wheeler) and just score, it was kind of like a weight on my shoulders and then the rest of the game (you want) to keep applying that pressure and keep improving

“I mean, my game is still not where I know it can be I know there are a lot of things I can improve on”

Dubois is going to be far too valuable in the middle not to be used primarily there, but he looks set to extend the experience on the wing

“I have no idea,” Dubois said, when asked what might be on the horizon in terms of a place in the roster. “That’s something my dad always told me, is that if you can play the three front positions it can be easy for a coach to put you in training; if he’s on the wing, it’s on the wing, if he’s in the center, it’s in the middle And in extra time, it’s a bit like a “D”, midfielder, defender

“So I think the more positions you can play the easier it is for a team and we have so many good center players in this team, there are a lot of them on the wing so everywhere I go. have to play, i will play”

Having that other option in your back pocket when the Jets need a spark is like holding an asset for Mauritius

One of the reasons Dubois was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets was because of his ability to help neutralize Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl with his two-man game.

It turns out that Dubois can also be used in a similar fashion to the Edmonton Oilers’ star crosses, combining with Scheifele for an impressive brace on the top line

Since Dubois is still up to the task, it makes perfect sense to give this new look a slightly longer test drive before moving it to the middle

“I think they have a lot more There will come a time and a time when they stop trying to keep him happy and they will just play. Once the three of them get to know each other a little bit, they will play everything simply, “said Maurice” They’ll shoot the pucks they’re supposed to shoot Pass those they’re supposed to pass All are exceptional passers They’ve had a few shifts where they clung to the puck in the offensive zone and I think they will be able to do it quickly

“So I don’t have him as a longtime winger but it’s a good way to introduce a guy into everything and he helps you win while it goes on He has two veterans he plays with He’s still a young man I loved him tonight The next phase will probably be that he’s flipped over and taken off So it won’t be that he definitely goes to another line, as long as he’s okay But I could go back a bit with Stastny He’s a center player and we need him to be a center player in the future But we certainly liked (Sunday) “

If he likes it enough to stick with it a bit longer, it’ll probably be obvious when the Jets return to the ice for practice on Tuesday.

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Jets, pierre luc dubois

News from around the world – CA – The jets meet with success with Dubois on the left wing, but return to center inevitable

Source: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/jets-finding-success-dubois-left-wing-return-centre-inevitable/