One piece of major news is that first-year Winnipeg Jet, Matt Hendricks will be sidelined for the next six-to-eight weeks. The fourth-liner has already missed an extended period of time after suffering a concussion at the hands of Winnipeg’s own Madison Bowey on February 13th, in Winnipeg’s matchup with Washington.
On the positive side of things, Jacob Trouba – who last dressed in late January – has been cleared to play. The 24-year-old defenceman has missed Winnipeg’s last 20 games with a sprained ankle. Coach Maurice listed Trouba as a game-time decision for Thursday night’s contest vs. the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
Newcomer, Paul Stastny – who suffered an injury during Winnipeg’s pre-game warmup in Nashville – will draw back into the Jets’ lineup Thursday. Also injured in Nashville was recent call-up Michael Hutchinson, who was forced to leave partway through Tuesday’s game with what Maurice is calling a concussion. Hutchinson is listed as week-to-week.
Goaltender Steve Mason – who returned to action for the first time since early January – recorded a shut-out against the New York Rangers on March 6th, but suffered a lower-body injury in the victory. He has missed the last four games and continues to be listed as week-to-week. Hutchinson was recalled following Mason’s injury in early March.
Now replacing Hutchinson is Eric Comrie – fresh up from the Manitoba Moose. Replacing Comrie in Manitoba is Jamie Phillips, who has been called up from the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen.
When asked on the status of defenseman Toby Enstrom, Maurice said that his under-sized blueliner is “close” to returning. Enstrom missed Winnipeg’s last three games with a lower-body injury.
Dmitry Kulikov, Adam Lowry and Mark Scheifele are all considered day-to-day. Coach Maurice indicated that Kulikov would require some additional testing before he can be cleared for game action, but he did not give hint as to when he predicts his two centre-men would draw back into the lineup.
Winnipeg currently sits 10th in the league in total man-games lost to injury this season, but holds the seventh highest cap-hit per injured players, and is tied for fourth in regards to total point output by missing players.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jeff Miller