He isn't the kind of guy who seeks the spotlight, but Mark Stuart's new boss and defensive partner are more than willing to push him to centre stage and praise the heck out of the veteran Winnipeg Jets defenceman. "He played well tonight, but he's played quietly really well," said head coach Paul Maurice. "We talk about (Jacob) Trouba and how well he's played... They're a pair that is working really well off each other. Some of the things we're trying to do in our end of the ice really help him, allow him to be aggressive. "He's got some explosive gap-closing ability and when he gets there, he goes to finish and hit hard. So we're trying to put him in a position to be able to do that, and he's really excelled. "There's a character guy," Maurice added. "There's your prototypical grinder and physically tough defenceman. It's nice he gets appreciated for that work." Stuart's minutes have risen since Dustin Byfuglien was moved up front and he played 21 minutes and 37 seconds against Toronto Saturday night. Trouba, his partner, has been solid under Maurice and working alongside Stuart. "He was great. I had a lot of turnovers (four), too many turnovers," Trouba said. "I have trust in him. He helped me every time. It's great playing with him and having him back there. He's a great defence partner. He's great in the D-zone. He'll block shots and do anything for his teammates and I'm proud to have a guy of that calibre be my partner. I'm proud to play with him and I want to stay with him. I think we play well together.
Quiet D-man Stuart earns kudos
Winnipeg Free Press | Jan 26