SNAPSHOTS: Schmidt enjoying peeling back Morrissey’s layers; Lowry asked Dillon to settle down a bit

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It’s destined to be the Winnipeg Jets’ top pairing on the blue-line this season, and newcomer Nate Schmidt has enjoyed pulling the curtain back on his new partner, Josh Morrissey.

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Schmidt admitted Tuesday the conversation has been a bit lopsided so far. If you’ve caught a glimpse of Schmidt’s availabilities after he was acquired by the Jets via trade this past July, you’ll know that Schmidt likes to talk. A lot.

“I’ve been in the tractor beam a few times, the 20-minute tractor beam,” Schmidt said, flouting his infectious smile.

“Man, peeling back the layers of this Josh Morrissey is a treat of mine coming in. It’s fun for me. I really enjoy it. Just getting to know him and the rest of our group as well, just trying to create a lot of chemistry between him and I.”

The conversations began a few weeks before camp as the duo chatted about what they wanted to see as a pair. Jets head coach Paul Maurice had told them to start getting to know one another because they were going to be seeing a lot of each other.

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“We talk a lot about tendencies, especially when we’re on the ice,” Schmidt said. “Like, ‘Hey, we want to have this. We want to do that. Let’s be really aggressive here today because even if we get beat, this is the time to do it. Let’s be overly aggressive because when you step into a game, you’re never going to be as aggressive as you are in practice, or at least you try to be.’

Schmidt said he was fortunate to play with Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik when he was coming up with the Washington Capitals. They both taught him to be “ridiculously over-aggressive early, something where he’d be put in a position to fail so he could find out where that line is by the time the regular season commenced.

“It’s kind of something we’ve been trying to do I think, in camp, really trying to push the envelope on each other and we play rushes as well,” Schmidt said.

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Lowry had to tell Dillon to tone it down

Make no mistake: Adam Lowry is excited about the addition of Brenden Dillon to the mix.

“He’s a great, great defender,” Lowry said. “He moves the puck well, he’s big and he’s hard to play against. He makes going to the net really miserable.”

That misery was on full display last Thursday when 44 Jets took to the ice at the Iceplex to kick off training camp. By the end of the first skate, Dillon had announced himself, trucking both Mark Scheifele and Kristian Vesalainen.

“Luckily he didn’t kill anyone that first day,” Lowry said, smirking.

That smirk wasn’t on Lowry’s face after the Vesalainen hit, however, as the veteran third-line centre made sure to get a message into Dillon’s ear.

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“I just said, ‘Can you just let up a little bit? We need these guys to get through training camp,’” said Lowry, who was laughing about it on Tuesday.

Brenden Dillon (left) draws a reaction from Adam Lowry (right) after his hit on Kristian Vesalainen also knocked down Ville Heinola during the first day of Winnipeg Jets training camp in Winnipeg on Sept. 23, 2021. Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun
Brenden Dillon (left) draws a reaction from Adam Lowry (right) after his hit on Kristian Vesalainen also knocked down Ville Heinola during the first day of Winnipeg Jets training camp in Winnipeg on Sept. 23, 2021. Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun Photo by Kevin King /Winnipeg Sun

Lowry was in a joking mood as he met with the media for the first time, in person, since the 2019-20 season. As it stands, he will have not one, but two different linemates to start the year with Paul Stastny at his left flank and Vesalainen to his right.

“Usually, it’s whoever I played with ends up on a different team, so at least he’s still here right?” Lowry said of Stastny while listing off the names of the departed, such as Joel Armia, Brandon Tanev and Mason Appleton.

Andrew Copp, Lowry’s most familiar linemate is now up on the second line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolaj Ehlers.

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“It’s a loss for me,” Lowry said. “He’s a terrific player to play with. You ask anyone in the room who they want to play with and I think he’s in the top three. He’s got such good reads defensively, makes such smart reads with the puck, and he makes my job easy because I always know where he’s going to be. It’s a little different but getting Stas and Ves to start, it’s a good opportunity.”

And a pro-tip: don’t refer to Lowry as the patriarch of the third line.

“(Stastny) would be,” Lowry said. “He’s an actual father.”

Mesh bags? Backpacks? A purse?

If you’re carrying any of these items heading into a Jets game this season, you’ll be denied entry until you dispose of them.

Fans are being asked to pack lightly when heading to Canada Life Centre after a new policy was implemented for this past Sunday’s preseason game. The new policy only allows bags that fit the dimensions of 12″x6″x3″, which allows items such as small clutches.

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“The policy is aligned with new NHL safety protocols, and we know that as guests become familiar with this new process, it will make entry and moving around at the game much simpler for everyone,” a press release from True North Sports + Entertainment said on Monday.

The bag issues, combined with Canada Life Centre staff needing to confirm full vaccination status and check government-issued photo ID, snarled fans’ ability to get to their seats, with some reporting to have missed a chunk of first-period action during a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Fans are being encouraged to have all of the record documents, including their mobile tickets, ready when they get to the gate.

For those who have no other options for storage of their oversized bags, there is the option for an off-site bag check-in at Cityplace. Doing so will hit the wallet — which is allowed in — for $10, with proceeds going to the True North Youth Foundation. A small plastic or fabric case will be provided to those who need to carry essential items into the arena with them.

sbilleck@postmedia.com

Twitter: @scottbilleck

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