Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler did not find the ice satisfactory in last night’s game against the Florida Panthers; to the point where he would rather be playing in the parking lot on cement instead.
Wheeler’s complaints come after there were times when the Jets’ skilled forwards like Nikolaj Ehlers could not control the puck on routine entries. Furthermore, we also saw the affect of the bad ice on Ehler’s goal which came off of a shot from Ben Chiarot, bounced off the ice, hit Patrik Laine’s stick and then finally hit Ehler’s in the back before entering the net. That is a fluke goal, but the initial bounce only happens if the ice is bad and possibly the puck is not cold enough.
“Bad ice” in the NHL has long been a problem and although it is more pronounced with the southern teams, the Edmonton Oilers have had struggles with the quality of their ice when they were still in Rexall Place as the ice plant was old and needed replacing amongst other issues. Either way, Wheeler has the right to believe that the playing surface should be in peak condition. Hopefully the Tampa Bay Lightning’s playing surface meets his standards.