Jets’ Scheifele encouraged by Leafs’ playoff run: ‘We want to be that team’

Posted: 23/04/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are inspiring hope around the NHL.

After finishing 30th overall last season, the upstart Leafs are in the process of giving the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals all they can handle in the opening round of the playoffs, leading Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets to believe his team could be next.

“We want to be that team,” Scheifele told Michael Traikos of Postmedia. “You see that any team can go on that run. You see that a team can go from last to the playoffs, and that’s something that we have to strive for. We can’t look at ourselves as young or inexperienced. Toronto did that and they’re just as young as we are.”

The Jets finished seven points out of a wild-card playoff spot and 20th overall this season, but do boast a wealth of young talent on the roster and in the system, beginning with Scheifele himself, who averaged over a point per game this year.

He’s immediately followed by Patrik Laine – selected one spot after Toronto’s Auston Matthews in 2016 – who’s in the running for the Calder Trophy, with Nikolaj Ehlers also coming off a breakout campaign.

For Scheifele, merely being in the running for a postseason berth isn’t near good enough for the Jets.

“We have to believe in ourselves. Just missing out on the playoffs can’t be satisfactory. We have to be better than that.”

First up for Scheifele will be a run with Team Canada at the upcoming World Championship in France and Germany, where he could very well enjoy the experience of winning.

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