The Winnipeg Jets lost two important games against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but have suffered an even greater blow than the two points in the standings. Nikolaj Ehlers will miss the rest of the regular season according to head coach Paul Maurice, after taking several big hits, including one from Jake Muzzin in Saturday’s game. Maurice remains confident that Ehlers will return for the playoffs, but the team won’t have him for the last few weeks of the regular season.
The Jets have now lost three in a row and are in danger of losing the second seed in the North Division. The team sits just a single point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers despite having played two additional games and will now be operating without one of their most important forwards.
Ehlers, 25, had reached an entirely new level of production his season, with 21 goals and 46 points in 47 games. That put him 13th in the NHL in goals and 18th in points, meaning the Jets are not only losing a strong performer but one of the league’s emerging stars.
The timing couldn’t be worse for Winnipeg, who will welcome in the Oilers for a two-game series starting tonight.