JACK­ETS

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still in the process of learn­ing how to con­tinue to de­velop their games.

One day re­moved from the win and fill­ing in for an ail­ing coach John Tor­torella, as­sis­tant coach Brad Larsen said Tor­torella was in charge of the for­wards at that point and would have to speak on Pa­narin. But as the coach in charge of the de­fense­men, Larsen had some in­sight into Weren­ski.

“The sec­ond half of shifts, there are times where he’s got to gut it out and find ways to be stronger in those sit­u­a­tions,” Larsen said af­ter an op­tional skate on Fri­day morn­ing at Na­tion­wide Arena. “That’s part of the growth of any

de­fense­man. He’s go­ing to be fine.”

With the Jack­ets lead­ing 3-2, Weren­ski turned the wrong way while chal­leng­ing for a puck and then Pa­narin pulled up as if ex­pect­ing some­one else to pick up his man as San­heim skated into the zone un­abated. Af­ter the game, Larsen called it a “cov­er­age break­down.”

Weren­ski was mostly mum on the sit­u­a­tion, say­ing he didn’t re­ceive an ex­pla­na­tion for why he didn’t get back into the game but that he is “tak­ing it in stride” as he pre­pared for the Cap­i­tals.

“I al­ways want to play,” he said of watch­ing late. “I don’t know.”

Is it a teach­able mo­ment for the thirdyear vet­eran?

“I guess,” he said. “I guess we’ll see how it goes.”

Larsen was quick not to pile on Weren­ski or Pa­narin while also point­ing out that they are still rel­a­tively young play­ers still with room to grow. Cap­tain Nick Foligno said the late-game break­downs amounted to giv­ing the Fly­ers “free­bie” goals with the types of mis­takes that can cost a team when the stakes are raised late in the sea­son.

He put it this way: some­times the only way to grow in the NHL is to take some lumps along the way.

“Those guys are good pros,” Foligno said. “Z is only go­ing to get bet­ter. Bread learns pretty quickly, as we’ve learned in this league. It can hap­pen to any­one, it just hap­pens to be those guys that night. It’s a good thing for ev­ery­one to see that ac­count­abil­ity goes around the room.”

Weren­ski’s de­fen­sive game has been un­der a spot­light, par­tic­u­larly af­ter play­ing with a sig­nif­i­cant shoul­der in­jury last year that ne­ces­si­tated off­sea­son surgery.

Al­though Larsen said Weren­ski needs to be more phys­i­cal, he added that the shoul­der in­jury has not im­pacted the de­fense­man’s sea­son. He has spent time paired with Seth Jones as the top unit but was switched off to Markus Nu­ti­vaara mid­way through the Fly­ers game and re­placed with Ryan Mur­ray.

Asked how he has han­dled the jug­gling of the pair­ings, Weren­ski shrugged.

“I think fine,” he said. “I think I’ve done what they’ve asked me to do. It’s out of my control. Just go­ing with what­ever I’m told.”

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