Dustin Byfuglien left the game yesterday with some sort of leg injury. The game was stopped unexpectedly and he needed help off the ice and down the tunnel. It looks like he will miss some time, so how will this affect the Winnipeg Jets?
The Jets defence is set up a specific way: the first pairing of Josh Morrissey and Jacob Trouba take a bulk of the tough matchups while Byfuglien carries the second pairing. While it is not perfect, it works well enough and the Jets get by. However, without Byfuglien the Jets are in trouble because their second pair is not made to withstand Byfuglien not playing.
The Jets were a two pairing team for the most part until this season. They were able to ride Byfuglien and the maligned, but good Tobias Enstrom for years and when Morrissey and Trouba were partnered together, things really took off. But Enstrom is gone and they have been filling the spot beside Byfuglien game to game with Ben Chiarot taking over a bulk of the duties this season, but he cannot play there without Byfuglien.
How can the Jets withstand the loss of Byfuglien? The could try calling up Sami Niku, pairing him with Jacob Trouba, moving Josh Morrissey down to the second pair and playing him with Tyler Myers. This would be far from ideal, but if it is a short-term injury it would make sense to try to fill the need from within. If the injury is going to be long-term, it would be smart for the Jets to make a trade for some help on the back-end. We shall cross that bridge when we get to it.