The Winnipeg Jets are in an unfamiliar position, firmly in a playoff spot with 12 games left to play. With 92 points, they trail only the Vegas Golden Knights and the Nashville Predators for the Western Conference lead, and are poised to do some damage in the postseason for the first time in their history. Still, that is only if they can stay healthy over the next few months. That’s not something that has come easily to the Jets of late, and Jamie Thomas of JetsTV gives us updates on several players.
- Matt Hendricks has played 60 games for the Jets this season as a fourth-line veteran presence, giving the team some valuable leadership and chipping in offense now and again. That role will have to go to someone else, as Hendricks is out six to eight weeks with a lower-body injury. That takes him out through the end of the season and much of the playoffs, meaning there is more ice time for the younger players in Winnipeg. Despite his near 600 games in the NHL, the 36-year old Hendricks has played in only 34 playoff games and none in the last five years.
- Luckily, it’s not all bad news in Winnipeg. There is a possibility that Jacob Trouba makes his return in tonight’s game which would be his first since January 15th. Trouba is a huge part of the Jets lineup, and with Dmitry Kulikov out with a minor injury his return would be extremely important. Trouba is up for another contract this summer, and an impressive playoff performance could increase his cost even more.
- Michael Hutchinson was forced out of Tuesday’s game against the Nashville Predators after three quick goals, but has now been diagnosed with a concussion. That’s the second goaltender out for the Jets, joining Steve Mason who is working his way back from a knee injury. Connor Hellebuyck will be relied upon even more, while Eric Comrie is the backup for the time being.