“It’s definitely a little more exciting,” Comrie told media in advance of his first start. “You’re a little more fired up, a little more juiced and have a little more energy in your game. I am excited. Excited to get out there and show what I can do. I’ve been good in practices, everything has been going really well. I’m just excited to go out there and hopefully have the hard work pay off.”
Midway through what is already the team’s second California road trip of the season, Comrie and the Jets will look to build upon Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks when they face off against the Los Angeles Kings from Staples Center late Thursday night.
“A rarity, right?” head coach Paul Maurice laughed when asked about Comrie playing after a day of rest. “We don’t have enough back-to-backs to say he’s playing all back to backs and that’s his season, so there are going to be games like this. You know, it really goes off Connor (Hellebuyck), so much. Volume and we monitor all different kind of parameters for his health, his workload. We were looking for a point. You know when you got past Game 5, you were going to be looking for one soon.”
Beginning the season 0-2-1, Winnipeg has rallied for three-straight wins, despite being without captain Blake Wheeler and offensive leader Mark Scheifele. The former has since been removed from COVID protocol following his 10-day isolation, while Scheifele is expected to conclude his stay on Friday. But according to Maurice, there is no rush to get the two top-line players back into his lineup.
“There’s no plan for this,” he said of rushing Wheeler back into the fold. “What we’re going to do is see how he feels tomorrow, go a little heavier tomorrow, see how he feels the next day, and just ramp up from there. I do think there’s an unknown here because it’s not a disease that used to dealing with. On the other hand, you have a 35-year-old who’s played through just about everything, who has a real handle on what he can do and when he is ready. All of this will be Blake. We’re going to watch him in practice and make sure we’re seeing the same things, but he’ll tell us when he’s ready.”
Ep 12: Biting, Montreal, COVID, and Penguins Sale Updateby Full Press Coverage on December 1, 2021 at 5:52 pm
Mike, Jim, and Chris […]
Who is ready for Winnipeg is Eric Comrie, who has actually yet to play in a game, despite the season beginning over two weeks ago. Cemented into his backup role, the 26-year-old is taking it day-by-day and focusing on Thursday’s game as just another day on the job.
“So I had a goalie coach back when I was younger, he’d always say just make sure you do everything and prepare every single day like it’s a game,” Comrie reminisced. “Even some practices you’re out there doing the same thing, so when you get into a game you don’t ramp it up and try hard, but try the exact same way you did in practice, because that’s what’s going to reflect on what you’ve done your whole life and what you’re doing. So that’s what I try to do. I try to go into practice with the same kind of things that I do in the game, so I’m hitting the marks, making sure I’m getting in position, skating well – because that’s the stuff you can control. And then you go into the game and you just do the same stuff and it hopefully pays off. You don’t have to get any more fired up or ramped up or try harder, you just do the same things you’ve done day in and day out and that’ll give you the best success.”
Without Laurent Brossoit lengthening the trip to the Jets’ roster, Comrie is more or less set in the No. 2 role, but despite serving the team daily at practices and various skates, he knows his role is there only as long as he continues to perform for the big club.
“You feel a little bit more stable, for sure,” Comrie said. “But you’re also still grinding every single day to maintain a spot. Because you have to get the job done or else they’re going to find a guy to replace you. So, that’s my thing to do. I have to go out there every single day to earn my spot and earn my role. It doesn’t matter if I’m a call-up or if I’m with the team. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to go out there and earn my job every single day. I have to perform. I know that and I understand that. I’m just going to give the best I have and enjoy every single moment.”
Puck drop from Los Angeles on Thursday is set for 9:30 PM central. Saturday’s game up the road in San Jose is an earlier start, featuring a 6:00 PM central start time.