Things have just become significantly harder for the Winnipeg Jets and their push for the postseason.
With a daunting schedule ahead that sees the Jets take on the extremely competitive Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins in their next four contests, Winnipeg will once again be missing centre Pierre-Luc Dubois, at least for the first two of those games.
On Friday, Jets head coach Rick Bowness announced that the big forward would be out for Saturday and Sunday’s games in Florida as he continues to recover from an upper-body injury.
For those just tuning in, Dubois suffered an injury in his return to the lineup on March 6 at home against the San Jose Sharks after sitting out three games due to a lower-body injury he sustained while playing the New York Islanders back on February 26.
Coach Bowness confirmed that this setback was something completely different and not related to his previous injury.
“He won’t be playing tomorrow or Sunday,” Bowness said following Friday’s skate. “We are hoping for Tuesday.”
Much like his team, Dubois is in the middle of a rough patch, statistic-wise. In his last four games, the 24-year-old has no points, 11 penalty minutes, five shots on net and a minus-7 plus/minus rating.
On the season, Dubois is setting himself up for a career year at 24 goals and 31 assists for 55 total points. Winnipeg has now lost nine of its last 11 games and have just six (of a total 22) points and a 2-7-2 record in that span. The Jets currently own the final wild card spot in the Western Conference and sit just four points up of Calgary through 65 games played.
Winnipeg takes on the Panthers at 6:00 PM on Saturday, before heading to Amalie Arena for a test with the Lightning on Sunday. Dubois may be able to join the team on Tuesday in Carolina should everything work itself out in his recovery.