Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/2/13
Ryan Jones had an epiphany of sorts earlier this week when the Edmonton Oilers were hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. As he was hopping over the boards for a shift on the wing, he told himself he had to make something happen. And he did it again on his next shift and the one after that. What happened was that he played the kind of game that got noticed. The kind of game he’ll have to play if he’s going to turn his second chance with the Oilers into a prolonged stay. Jones didn’t make the Oilers’ opening day lineup and instead found himself with a ticket to the American Hockey League. Even when he was recalled from the Oklahoma City Barons on Oct. 15, to fill in for an injured Jesse Joensuu, he wasn’t sure his stay was going to be a long one. But here it is, six games later, and Jones is not only set to play Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings, he has been skating with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ales Hemsky in place of David Perron. Perron was to have an MRI on Friday to see if there were structural issues that were at the root of the neck issues he’s been plagued by. He is doubtful for the Detroit game, which opens the door for Jones. “I’m looking for him to bring some heaviness to (the line),” said head coach Dallas Eakins. “His game is real simple. He is to finish every one of his checks because he can put their defence on their heels. “His second job is to go to the net. I’m not looking for him to make plays I’m looking for him to go get the garbage at the front of the net. Then his third responsibility is that he has to back up (his linemates) if they’re taking a chance. “I think he’s done a great job the last few games of doing that. It’s something we’re challenging him to keep going because he’s played extremely well here the last few games.” Jones played a season high 15:22 against the Maple Leafs, registering eight shots in the contest, and he is intent on building on that against Detroit.
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