Seems like a lifetime ago that dynamic winger Nikolaj Ehlers and his head coach Rick Bowness were in a “media war” over his availability for game 1. Ehlers labelled himself “good-to-go” while his bench boss went with “day-to-day”. Number 27 would miss both games in Vegas despite praciticing with his teammates in a regular jersey during the week.
Winnipeg was scheduled to fly home today but before they did they held a media availability. Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press asked the bench boss as to the availability of Ehlers ahead of tomorrow’s game 3 matinee in Manitoba.
“We hope so. We’ll see how he feels today and tomorrow when he shows up at the rink. Really until we get a clearance from the medical staff he’s not playing. But hopefully they will clear him tomorrow, that he’s recovered enough and we’re able to put him back in the lineup.”
Mike asked about the confusion created by Ehlers practicing in a normal uniform as opposed to a non-contact one. Bowness indicated that they were hopeful that he’d be able to play and that Ehlers fellow players were aware of what he was dealing with and that there was respect not to bump him and cause further harm.
One additional note is when talking about Ehlers, Rick Bowness mention that Cole Perfetti is in a red, non-contact jersey and had this to say as an aside about the Jets rookie “Cole’s in a red but he’s not even close to being ready to play so I think that’s more an indication of that.”.
Ultimately said they were hopeful that Ehlers would come around but he hasn’t quite yet.