SUN Hockey Pool

Jacques off his game

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:23 AM ET

The recent back surgery isn’t causing him any mobility problems — Jacques be nimble — but something is still missing from JF’s game.

The big winger, a healthy scratch for the second game in a row, seems to have lost a little momentum in his comeback attempt.

“I don’t think my game is at its best right now, obviously it’s not,” said Jacques. “There’s still some stuff that I need to work on and improve.”

He’s only played 12 games in the last year, and joined the lineup in mid-season, which might be the reason he’s struggling to gain any traction.

“I didn’t know what to expect, coming into the middle of the season like that. I was sure hoping it would be a quick transition, but ... I’m not that disappointed in my game, but I know I can bring more to the team, that’s the frustrating part.

“It’s just personally making some plays with the puck. My play all around with the puck.”

His meal ticket is being physical and finishing checks, but this is also a player whose offensive upside had him flirting with the top line last season under Pat Quinn. Right now he’s not playing to either potential.

“Being physical is still the main focus of my game,” he said. “I’m not trying to get better skillwise and hoping to get on the power play. I just want to be better around with the puck in the D zone, getting the puck out. And making some better choices offensively instead of just getting rid of it.

“I know I can do it. I know it’s going to take some time. The main difference between now and training camp last year. I had a whole summer to work on some stuff and coming into camp. I had all the confidence in the world after the first couple of weeks playing with Horc and hemmer. One goal, one point will help mentally get that confidence back a little bit.”

Tom Renney says he’ll get his chance soon

“The opportunity will present itself again,” said the coach, who’d like to see a little more Zack Stortini in Jacques’ game. “Jacques has to be more prepared to do those types of things, too. We need his ability to play on the ice, naturally, but we also need what he does from a physical perspective. He has to become a little more consistent from what we’ve seen so far.”

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robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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