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

WINNIPEG – Where does Pierre-Luc Dubois fit best in the Winnipeg Jets lineup after the weight is officially lifted?

Jets head coach Paul Maurice announces that Dubois has been acquired as a Centreman and doubled down by reinforcement that he will be Centreman for the long term, but there must be at least a temptation to keep him on the left flank on the top line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler

When a man 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 line-up after missing four games with a lower body injury To find a way to delay the inevitable – if only temporarily – just makes too much sense

Since the Jets won’t play again until Thursday when the Montreal Canadiens come to town, it will take a few days for the anticipation to build up and Maurice to think about the decision

Maurice has already announced that the next step in the process is to put Dubois in the middle between Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor, with Paul Stastny jumping up alongside Scheifele and Wheeler

It’s a trio with extraordinary speed and combines the straightforward play of Connor with the east-west creativity of Ehlers

When you bring in the bulldozer-like quality that Dubois brings to the table, you can’t help but see tremendous potential

“Yes, I mean, it was obvious. He’s a very powerful man,” said Wheeler, who submitted three assists on Sunday and scored up to 17 points in 18 games. “You know what I mean? You see him without a uniform and just in shorts and t-shirt he’s a young man but in a grown body he’s just tapping his potential as a player Some of the little things he does with the puck, how he protects it and how he makes guys miss , is a very special player ”

First and foremost, for a man who had only played two games in nearly a month because of quarantine and the muscle injury that had gotten him out of the way in the last four games, it wasn’t the extra responsibility of being at the center, too are an obvious bonus

When looking for a place where a player can be successful, it also made a lot of sense to throw him out with a center on a heater – and there was Scheifele, who got his streak of 10 games and his streak of goals in 10 games extended five games (with 10 markers in the season and a tie with Ehlers for the team leadership) on Sunday evening

By hooking up Dubois to play with longtime couple Scheifele and Wheeler, it was simply a matter of finding his comfort zone

“They are two really smart players with the puck, without the puck, positionally and (on the) preliminary exam. There’s not much that neither of them can do on the ice,” said Dubois, “(Scheifele) and (Wheeler) have sometimes made it easy for me to help myself when I did wrong readings and the like, but it felt good to be out there with them again

“They see the chemistry they have and try to read it off Try to be in the right place ”

Dubois found himself in the right place late in the second phase, slipping into a quiet zone in the slot after Scheifele brought the puck low and brought it to Wheeler

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

And when Elias Pettersson tore a rocket home in a 6-on-4 situation at 37, 7 seconds before the end of regular time, Dubois was there to put an exclamation point in extra time He used a stop-and-go move that showed his acceleration to blow past Brock Boeser and beat Braden Holtby with a 27-second shot in the three-action

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

The kickback from false starts and “muscle injury” (the words Dubois said when asked if it was a groin problem that kept him away) only added to the frustration

“My first game, it was one of those games that you kind of want to forget. You just get your legs back in, your hands back in,” said Dubois. “In the second game I felt a little better and then that injury that I missed some time tonight to finally get out and play and then get that nice pass from (Wheeler) and just score It felt like a weight off mine on shoulders and then the rest of the game (you want) to keep putting that pressure and getting better and better

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

Dubois will be far too valuable in the middle not to be primarily used there, but he seems open to expanding the experiment on the wing

“I have no idea,” said Dubois, asking what might be on the horizon for his place in the line-up. “This is one thing my father always told me: if you can play all three forward positions, it can be easy for a trainer to get you on the lineup If it’s on the wing, it’s on the wing, if it’s in the middle, it’s in the middle, And in overtime it’s like a “D”, midfielder, defender

“I think the more positions you can play, the easier it is for a team We have so many good centrists on this team that there’s a lot on the wing Wherever I have to play, I will play””

Having that other option in your back pocket when the Jets need a spark is like holding a Trump card for Maurice

One of the reasons Dubois was taken over by the Columbus Blue Jackets was because of its ability to neutralize Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl with his two-way game

As it turns out, Dubois can also be deployed in a similar fashion to the Edmonton Oilers’ star centers, with Scheifele making for an impressive one-two on the top line

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

“I think they have a lot more. There will be a point when they’ll stop making him happy and just play. Once the three of them get to know each other a little, they just play,” Maurice said will shoot the pucks they are supposed to shoot Pass the ones to pass All of them are exceptional passers-by They had a couple of shifts holding the puck in the offensive zone and I think they will be able to do it at speed

“So, I don’t have him as a long-term winger, but it’s a great way to introduce a man into anything and he’ll help you win while it goes on”He’s got two veterans to play with. He’s still a young man. I liked it tonight. The next stage will likely be that it folds in and out. So it won’t be with him constantly switching to another line , as long as things go well But I could kick him and Stastny out a bit. He’s a Centreman and we need him to be a Centreman in the future. But we definitely liked it (Sunday) ”

Whether he likes it enough to stick around a bit longer will likely become clear when the jets return to the ice for training on Tuesday

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Jets, Pierre Luc Dubois

World news – CA – Jets succeed with Dubois on the left wing, but inevitably return to the center

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