The breaking news ahead of today’s Jets practice is Jacob Trouba potentially being out six to eight weeks with an ankle injury. Prior to that news breaking all eyes on today’s practice would have been watching to see what colour jerseys injured Jets like Adam Lowry Dmitry Kulikov and maybe even Steve Mason, Mark Scheifele and Shawn Matthias (if any of these three skate today) will be wearing.
At the Jets practice last Wednesday in Anaheim coach Maurice had indicated that he wasn’t planning on using Connor Hellebuyck tomorrow night against the Lightning saying “I’m not looking for him, right now, to be in that game”. While that may seem definitive the key words from the Jets bench boss are ‘right now’. We will have to wait to see if he adjusts his plans. Michael Hutchinson likely wouldn’t arrive in Winnipeg until sometime on game day so it will be interesting to see if the coach uses him against the high powered Lightning in what would be his first NHL game since last April. Perhaps Steve Mason is healthy and if he practices today, could start tomorrow. Or maybe the Jets bench boss chats with Connor Hellebuyck and feels his number one can play. Stay tuned to find out.
In advance of today’s skate the Jets recalled Eric Comrie and assigned Jamie Phillips back to the Moose
Eric Comrie is on the ice for practice today. Blake Wheeler is out with his teammates and Adam Lowry is back in a normal uniform. No sign of Dmitry Kulikov today. Other Jets missing and not unexpectedly are Shawn Matthias, Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba and Steve Mason.
While the fourth line had four players skating I’d expect Marko Dano to be the odd man out as Kyle Connor was still getting special teams time. We won’t know until tomorrow but that would be my expectation.
Connor Hellebuyck isn’t on the ice but that’s not a big surprise. A True North employee is currently acting as the Jets other goalie.
Lines and D pairs:
Laine – Wheeler – Roslovic
Ehlers – Little – Perreault
Copp – Lowry – Armia
Tanev – Hendricks – Connor/Dano
Enstrom – Byfuglien
Morrissey – Myers
Chiarot – Poolman
Starting goalie tomorrow vs Lightning:
Coach Maurice confirms that Michael Hutchinson will start against the Lightning. The Jets bench boss acknowledged that it will be quite the day for his backup but that they wanted him to get into a game in the AHL and that Hutchinson wanted to play in the All-Star game.
Coach Maurice confirms that Jacob Trouba will be out 6-8 weeks which happened at the end of the game vs the Ducks. The Jets bench boss also confirmed that Mark Scheifele and Dmitry Kulikov were on the ice before the Jets skated today adding that “both did well. Kulikov won’t play tomorrow. We’ll see where he gets to towards the end of the week, Scheif’s on track”. Scheifele was originally pegged as being out six to eight weeks and in a follow-up answer about whether Scheifele could be in the lineup towards the end of next week, coach Maurice said “I don’t know that we can tell you that right now based on where he’s at. There is the six to eight window, we’re pretty comfortable that it’s somewhere in there.” One player who traded in his non-contact uniform for a regular jersey was Adam Lowry and coach Maurice indicated that “Lowry is probable for tomorrow. He felt really good coming off the ice. We think that’s positive. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.” Nothing specific about Shawn Matthias and Steve Mason from the coach other than indicating “Nothing more than they’re getting better. They’re not on the ice yet. That’s the next stage.”.
Coach Maurice: Health updates. Who is his goalie against Tampa Bay. On what the loss of Trouba means to the Jets. On the Jets depth being tested. Is there a benefit to the D having been paired together previously? On when Trouba got hurt. More on Scheifele’s progression. Any updates on Mason and Matthias? On facing the Lighting and Golden Knights this week. Has he ever had a ten game home stand? How many high end players can be out of the roster before he had performance concerns? Thoughts on playing games in Finland next season. Thoughts on the All-Star weekend. What is Hutchinson’s schedule look like?
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