Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Enstrom has MRI, will be 'out for a little while'

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THERE was no good news Saturday on the shoulder injury to Jets defenceman Toby Enstrom.

The Swedish-born blue-liner was cracked into the boards by Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis in the third minute of Friday's 3-1 loss to the Penguins and did not return.

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Enstrom was having a magnetic resonance image exam on Saturday to determine the severity of the shoulder problem.

"He'll be out for a little while," were the words from Jets coach Claude Noel.

"It's just another little adverse moment for us. The good thing we're going to find out about ourselves is that we have to stay together and support the way we play and continue to play hard."

Last season, Enstrom lost 20 games to a broken collarbone in the first half.

SKATES ARE ON: Veteran right-winger Antti Miettinen hasn't played a game this season, having suffered an injury on the second day of training camp in January.

The injury has remained a mystery, though most of the speculation has centred on a concussion or a shoulder problem.

Whatever it is, Miettinen was back on the ice with his teammates Saturday at the Iceplex.

He said he couldn't be specific about the injury, but did hint at what happened, saying he fell into the boards after tripping on sticks.

"It was just an accident right at the end of the practice, bad luck what happened," Miettinen said.

The good news is the 32-year-old is close to action, he said Saturday.

"I think so. I hope it's going to be pretty soon," he said. "It was nice to be on the ice today. I've been around the locker-room but it's all different, skating with the guys. I'm feeling part of the team again."

Noel will be keeping close track of the situation, and Miettinen will be with the team on its upcoming five-game road trip.

"He's going to have to practise with us for a little while first," Noel said. "He'll come on the road with us and we'll see how he's feeling."

Miettinen had hoped for a quick start after playing in Finland with HPK Hameenlinna during the lockout.

"I felt I was pretty game-ready," he said.

BUFF'S NEW PARTNER: With Enstrom on the shelf, the Jets' top defensive pairing will now feature Dustin Byfuglien and Ron Hainsey. Byfuglien, for his part, said he was "pushing for (Zach) Bogosian. We could really feed off each other, but I doubt that will ever happen."

The boss concurred.

"Ron Hainsey would be a better fit with Byfuglien because Ron would be more of a stay-at-home defenceman," said Noel. "Buff has a tendency to want to jump up the ice. So that would provide more stability and would probably stop us from having the Rosary behind the bench."

BANNER DAY: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was honoured by the Chicago Wolves Saturday with a banner-raising ceremony at Allstate Arena. Cheveldayoff was part of four championships with the Wolves, two IHL Turner Cups and two AHL Calder Cups before joining the Blackhawks in 2009-10.

 

-- Tim Campbell and Ed Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 17, 2013 B3

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