Jets winger itching to pitch in
Kirk Penton, QMI Agency
|Kenndal McArdle practices with the Winnipeg Jets in this September 9, 2011 file photo. (CHRIS PROCAYLO/QMI Agency)
WINNIPEG - Kenndal McArdle, coming off a sore foot, is ready to jump into Winnipeg’s hysterical hockey scene with both feet.
He’s a fire-you-up kind of guy, and he can’t wait to soak up — and perhaps fire up even more — the 15,004 screaming fans at MTS Centre on Monday night.
If all goes according to plan, the winger will be in the lineup when the Jets battle the New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. The Jets will be looking for their first winning streak of the season after beating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Saturday night.
“I’m ready to go,” McArdle said. “I’m hoping to hop in there and help the team continue what they had (Saturday). The team played well. I just hope that I can get a role and be somebody that helps us.”
McArdle has been out of action since suffering a foot injury during Winnipeg’s second pre-season game in Nashville on Sept. 24. He landed awkwardly after taking a hit in the middle of the ice against the Predators, but he remained in the game.
Afterwards, he knew the injury would keep him out a while. But now he’s back and ready to bring some energy to a lineup that hasn’t exactly been overflowing with it during its 2-4-1 start.
“(Jim) Slater, (Tanner) Glass and (Chris) Thorburn have been really effective for us, and I want to kind of help with that type of role,” McArdle said. “I’m really conscious of that, and especially playing here. I really want to get the crowd into it, and I think that can go a long way.
“The crowd is everything that it’s cracked up to be, so I want to help there and really fit any role that the coach wants me to.”
Slater is day-to-day with with an upper-body injury after taking a hit on Saturday night and is unlikely to play against the Rangers, so McArdle would have no problem sliding right in and joining that duo if head coach Claude Noel were to go that route.
The 24-year-old McArdle, who was a first-round draft pick in 2005, was acquired from the Florida Panthers organization in August. He had one goal and two assists in 33 games for the Panthers.