Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Winnipeg Jets Can't Catch a Break

The Winnipeg Jets situation has turned from a bummer to dour to comical in the last week, as the Jets have lost all of their top-four defenseman to injury this season, including two in the last two days.

More Saucer Pass: What's Wrong with John Tavares?

“You almost have to laugh about it,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said, after the team learned that Mark Stuart would be out until at least February after suffering a lower body injury in a fight in the third period of Tuesday night's game vs the Sabres. “You don’t think it’s going to happen. Our group has done a good job of being positive and accepting every challenge we’ve had this year. We’ll accept whatever’s thrown our way.”

You can watch the fight below, and if you see where Stuart gets hurt, please let us know.

It was announced on Tuesday that the Jets top-scoring defenseman Jacob Trouba would miss more than six weeks with an upper body injury.

Trouba and Stuart join Zach Bogasian and Toby Enstrom, who are already on the sidelines.

Grant Clitsome returned from injury this week, and the Jets announced that they've acquired veteran Jay Harrison in a trade from Carolina this afternoon.

Head coach Paul Maurice is doing everything he can to keep a cool head, even telling reporters that he "benched Stuart for a month" for a laugh.

“We’ve got six guys that have played in the NHL that are going to dress tomorrow night. That’s the way you have to approach it,” Maurice told the Winnipeg Sun. “You get into the most critical times of your season after deadlines, you are who you are. And you’ve got to figure out a way to be competitive and win hockey games.”

The challenge for Winnipeg and its current band-aid defense corps will be to get acquainted quickly so that it can avoid dropping out of the playoff race. At 16-10-6, the Jets are currently 7th in the conference, but Los Angeles (36 pts), Calgary (36 pts) and Minnesota (34 pts) are all breathing down their neck already, and it's not even Christmas.