The Jets are heading into a nice long nine day break away from the rink (and if they are lucky away from these balmy Manitoba temperatures) where they can recharge their batteries, heal up and get ready for a push towards the playoffs.
Winnipeg currently sits in second place in the Central, a point behind Dallas (who have a game in hand) and seven points up on Minnesota (who have four games in hand).
They have gone from a team with seven injured players to two (Appleton & Gustafsson) but that number grew to three with defenceman Dylan DeMelo being added to the list after he played in the Jets loss to the Sabres on January 26th. Two days later bench boss Rick Bowness indicated that DeMelo would miss the next two games (Flyers & Blues) as he dealt with a lower-body issue but that they would expect him back after the All-Star break when they take on the Blackhawks on the 11th.
After the game last night that saw the Jets defeat the Blues 4-2 the bench boss of Winnipeg was asked for additional clarity when it comes to DeMelo and if they still expect him back when they return from the break. Bowness indicated:
“We’re hoping that he’ll be able to skate. We’re not certain on that and we won’t know for another five or six days. He’s getting treatments and we’re hoping that when we come back on the 9th, he’s on the ice.”
DeMelo has had a nice season with two goals and 14 assists in 46 games for the Jets.
Earlier in the day during his media availability following morning skate Bowness had indicated that the Jets expect Mason Appleton to play on the 11th. He also said that he spoke with David Gustafsson who hopes to be skating again on the 9th and then “we’ll see where he is. He’ll need some time.”.