By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Bryan Little has been on a tear to start the season for the Winnipeg Jets. His 12 goals are tops on his team as are his 21 points in 23 games. If you ask his teammates, however, they will tell you that his solid play is just down to the “Little” things.
“He does the little things right, I don’t think his mindset is going into the game and getting three or four points, that is not his mindset,” said Olli Jokinen. “He plays the way the game is supposed to be played and that is why he gets results.
“I don’t think he changed anything from last year, playing with him — and remembering even playing against him — that is the way he’s been always playing. He does everything well, he thinks the game the way you should think.”
Andrew Ladd is no stranger to Little’s heroics as of late. Ladd plays on the left side of Little’s line and knows first hand what makes him such a special player.
“Reliable, that is the best word I can think of right now,” said the Jets’ captain. “He is steady, comes to play every night, always seems to be in the right spots, comes up with big goals and never seems to make any mistakes. Tough to find a player like that.”
Ladd figures Little’s resurgence is down to some old fashion psychology.
“I think it is just confidence,” Ladd said. “I don’t think he is doing anything completely different. It is just you start putting pucks to the net and they go in, maybe you feel a little more comfortable doing the same thing the next time, going to those spots.
“He has been great, probably our best forward so far this year.”
Little remains humble about his play so far.
“For me, I try not to think about it,” said Little. “It is easier said than done but I just try to come into every game the same way and at the start of the game I try not to think about scoring goals or trying to get on the score sheet. I just try and focus on what our game plan is and go from there.
“Sometimes your chances will come.”
Little leads the Jets scoring at home with seven goals and seven assists this season. Andrew Ladd trails him by a point with five goals and eight assists.