Ryan Jones has been in a feisty mood of late. The Edmonton Oilers winger was involved in his third fight in a week when he took on Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa Tuesday in a 2-1 loss. Jones has averaged about two fights per year. “Offence isn’t exactly coming in the way I hoped it would this year and I’m just trying to do something that will kick-start it I guess,” Jones said following practice Wednesday. “A few of those fights were me trying to get the team going. We got scored on early in Dallas and then against Vancouver. I was just kind of looking at a way to get the boys some jump. The one in Minnesota was a little kickback from a hit that I didn’t like. It’s hockey, there’s fighting.” There is fighting in hockey, but there’s more to it for Jones. The 29-year-old is looking for a new contract and with a recent newborn, seems to be playing with a new sense of responsibility. He’s also gaining confidence in his eye, injured during the lockout last season. “With the injury, I wasn’t sure all along how the eye would react to getting hit, if it did get hit,” Jones said. “You get one fight under you and you think, ‘That wasn’t that bad.’ After two, you get a little bit of confidence and you realize you can do this and basically I don’t have to worry about my career being over if I get hit. “You’re less apt to think twice about it. If you think twice about it, you’re not going to do it. So as soon as the challenge is there, if you react, it’s on.” Acquired off waivers from the Nashville Predators in 2010, Jones’s first two seasons with the Oilers were solid, threatening the 20-goal plateau. He finished with 18 goals and 25 points in his first full year, then had 17 goals and 33 points in his second. With a new contract in hand, Jones was hoping to improve on those numbers, but took a puck in the eye while skating with fellow NHL players during the lockout. He needed surgery to repair the damage, setting him back. Jones did make it back to play in the lockout-shortened season, but collected only two goals in 27 games.
Oilers’ Ryan Jones gaining confidence as season goes on
Edmonton Sun | Jan 23