As the Winnipeg Jets look to take back the lead in their first-round matchup against the Vegas Golden Knights, they will have to do it without Norris candidate Josh Morrissey. The team announced that Morrissey will not return to Game Three due to a lower-body injury.
On the heels of far and away the best season of his career, Morrissey will be a huge missing presence on the ice for the Jets. The team hasn’t made any mention of his status for Game Four in their series, as they will likely give updates after tonight’s game or tomorrow. In two games played so far for Morrissey in the playoffs, he has managed one assist, dishing the puck to teammate Kyle Connor for the opening goal in this series.
Although it will be near impossible to replicate the kind of offense that Morrissey is able to bring from the back end, the one player who could hold down the fort in the meantime is defenseman Neal Pionk. Pionk has been a steady presence on the blue line for the Jets over the last four seasons, hovering around 30 points every year, including a 45-point season in 2019-20.
Other notes from the Central Division:
- In his media availability this morning, the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, Jared Bednar relayed to the press that he is unsure if either Andrew Cogliano or Lars Eller will play tonight (Twitter Link). Cogliano has yet to play for the Avalanche in their series against the Seattle Kraken, as he is still working his way back from an upper-body injury suffered toward the end of the regular season. Eller, on the other hand, has played in both games so far for Colorado but did appear to be shaken up after receiving a hit in Game Two.
- Sarah McLellan of Star Tribune Sports reports that Joel Eriksson Ek is being evaluated by the Minnesota Wild, and would likely know if he will be in the lineup before their game tomorrow. Eriksson Ek returned to the Wild for Game Three and only managed to play for 19 seconds before leaving for the rest of the game. Although Minnesota has a 2-1 lead so far in the series, Eriksson Ek was one of four Wild players to score more than 60 points this season, and will certainly be missed by Minnesota.