The Jets have returned Brendan Lemieux and Michael Hutchinson to the Moose with the team playing two games this weekend in Laval before the AHL All-Star break begins on Sunday and with the Jets on their NHL All-Star break. However, with the status of Steve Mason remaining unclear it will be interesting to see how goalie Michael Hutchinson is used at the AHL level. Last time he was returned to the Manitoba Moose from the Jets he was held out of playing in any games with Mason’s status up in the air. In addition to the above moves the Moose have recalled Colton Phinney from the Icemen of the ECHL.
So what exactly does all this mean? If the Jets proceed with caution then perhaps Michael Hutchinson doesn’t play this weekend in any games for the Moose with Eric Comrie playing both games vs Laval and Colton Phinney backing him up. Then Hutchinson would go to the AHL All-Star game in Utica which takes place on Sunday/Monday. Of course Michael Hutchinson hasn’t played a hockey game since he was in net for Manitoba back on January 8th so we could see him play one game this weekend for the Moose.
Now coach Maurice indicated on Wednesday after practice with respect to his goalie against the Lighting on Tuesday “I’m not looking for him (Hellebuyck) right now to be in that game”. Of course if you notice in the quote he said ‘right now’ which leaves open the possibility that he plays Hellebuyck against the top team in the East. You can expect Jamie Phillips to practice with the Jets on Monday which will be a nice treat for the 2012 7th rounder.
Will the Jets bench boss want goalie Michael Hutchinson to get his first NHL game since April 4th of 2017 against the best team in the Eastern Conference having flown back from the east coast presumably that day? Might he go back to Connor Hellebuyck? What is the status of Steve Mason?
Plenty of questions remain ahead of this weekend. We might have some more clarity after the Moose kick off their pair of games against the Rocket tonight and tomorrow night in Laval. Stay tuned to find out.
Worth noting the team didn’t reassign Jack Roslovic and Tucker Poolman who have both spent time with Manitoba. While it isn’t a surprise that Roslovic wasn’t sent down, Poolman hasn’t played with the Jets since his recall. Perhaps out of an abundance of caution with respect to the injury to Dmitry Kulikov they aren’t going to take any chances with Poolman.
Update: Voice of the Moose Mitch Peacock indicated that Eric Comrie gets the start in net tonight vs Laval with Colton Phinney backing him up and that Michael Hutchinson could get the start tomorrow night.
As always stay tuned for the latest Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose news by keeping it locked to our web site illegalcurve.com and on social media including Twitter | Facebook | Instagram. You can also follow me on twitter as well (@icdave).