It has not been a very good 48 hours for the Winnipeg Jets. In the last day, we've learned that Tobias Enstrom will be out until at least the new year, Zach Bogosian will be out for 4-6 weeks due to injury, and Grant Clitsome will be out another two weeks. Keaton Ellerby, the Jets' top AHL call-up option, is unavailable. Instead, the Jets have Ben Chiarot and Julien Brouillete.
And...wait for it...wait for it...
Looks like Dustin Byfuglien will be moved to defence. "One of our best options" said Maurice. #nhljets #cbcmb— Jeff Hamilton (@jeffkhamilton) December 4, 2014
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Big Buff is back on defense. Some call him a liability. Some say the blue line is where he's most effective. Tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, Byfuglien will get his first chance since last season to prove that he belongs on defense. In other Jets news, Zach Redmond will be making his return to Winnipeg and Paul Maurice will continue his completely reasonable distribution of goalie starts with Michael Hutchinson in net.
On the bright side for the Jets, the Avalanche will be playing their second game in as many nights, having lost 4-3 (in overtime) in Calgary last night. And despite playing last night, it looks like Semyon Varlamov will get the start tonight as well (side note: I'm honestly not sure if a fatigued Varlamov is better than a well-rested Reto Berra. Berra stinks.). Finally, always the contrarian, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy will be playing defenseman Nick Holden at right wing tonight. "Ha! Take that, Maurice!", one observer witnessed Roy shouting as he entered his lineup into the official scorecard at the MTS Centre.
Is tonight the beginning of Byfuglien's redemption story? The end of the Jets' good run? The beginning of the end for the Jets' season? Stay tuned...
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Mathieu Perreault - Michael Frolik
Adam Lowry - Mark Scheifele - Matt Halischuk
Chris Thorburn - Jim Slater - Anthony Peluso
Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien
Adam Pardy - Paul Postma
Injured: Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Grant Clitsome
Alex Tanguay - Matt Duchene - Ryan O'Reilly
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Jarome Iginla
Maxime Talbot - Michael Sgarbossa - Daniel Briere
Cody McLeod - Tomas Vincour - Nick Holden
Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Nate Guenin - Tyson Barrie
Karl Stollery - Zach Redmond
Injured: Jamie McGinn, John Mitchell, Ryan Wilson, Ben Street, Brad Stuart, Marc-Andre Cliche...basically, you name it
Players to Watch