Programming note: Sharks-Jets coverage kicks off Sunday at 4:30 p.m with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
WINNIPEG – Jets forward Devin Setoguchi is arguably playing his best hockey of the season as he welcomes his former club to his new home.
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The 26-year-old has four points in his last three games, including goals in each of his last two. He’s expected to play on the wing with Evander Kane and Olli Jokinen on Sunday night when the Jets host the Sharks in the first of three head-to-head matchups this season.
On Friday against Nashville, that line combined for four points in dominant 5-0 win home over the Predators.
“Last game we had quite a few chances,” Setoguchi said. “The puck didn’t go in on every one, but we can’t just expect that to happen. I think we worked hard in both ends of the rink, which gave us an opportunity to go the other way.”
It’s now Setoguchi’s third season with another club, after the Sharks dealt him to Minnesota in the summer of 2011. The Wild flipped him to Winnipeg on July 5, 2013, for a second round draft pick in 2014.
He was asked how he’s evolved since that trade from San Jose.
“I definitely think I’ve grown up a lot since I’ve been – it’s been six years, this is my seventh [in the NHL]. It’s been a long time,” said Setoguchi, who was a healthy scratch on Oct. 18 after some early season struggles. “A little bit more mature in the way I handle things and conduct myself, and my play on the ice.”
The Jets are in seventh place in the Central Division, and haven’t won consecutive games since the first two of the season. They will try and end that dubious streak tonight against a struggling Sharks team that has lost its last four.
“We’re having troubles with our consistency,” Setoguchi said. “The work ethic, I think we need to put that first. … When the work is there that’s when usually everything starts to click.”
“I know the way they play and the structure of their team, and the way it’s coached. We’ve just got to make sure that we’re ready ourselves tonight.”