Ron Hainsey decided to skip Sunday’s optional practice, and you could hardly blame him after all the ice time he’s been eating up lately.
Thanks to injuries to Dustin Byfuglien and Zach Bogosian, Hainsey has been playing top-duo minutes beside Toby Enstrom. On Saturday afternoon in Ottawa the 31-year-old was on the ice for 29:32, which was the fourth-highest total of his career.
The last time he played that much was three seasons ago, when he had a career-high 30:19 while playing for the Atlanta Thrashers.
“It’s easier to play when you don’t have time to think about what just happened on the last shift,” Hainsey said. “That makes it more enjoyable if you happened to have made a mistake.
“You’re just going out and reacting to what’s happening in the game. In that respect, it makes it easier. I feel pretty fresh from eight months off. It hasn’t been an issue up to this point.”
Head coach Claude Noel has liked what he’s seen from not only Hainsey, but Mark Stuart and Toby Enstrom as well.
“Those guys have had to log a lot of minutes, and Ron’s done that and we’ve managed to stay at .500,” Noel said. “So that speaks volumes for those guys, him included.”
Jets' Hainsey logging major ice time
Winnipeg Sun | Feb 11