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Buff, Bogo and Slater could lace 'em up against Hurricanes

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WINNIPEG — If he goes on much longer with such an involved daily medical update, Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice could be the new face of the Red Cross.

The most immediate concern is how much of his team will be on the ice to face the Carolina Hurricanes at the MTS Centre Saturday night (6 p.m., CBC, TSN1290).

Wednesday’s 5-4 overtime win was accomplished without the services of No. 1 goalie Ondrej Pavelec (lower body), defenceman Zach Bogosian (upper body) and forwards Dustin Byfuglien (lower body) and Jim Slater (lower body) — the injured Jets who are not out long-term like Mark Scheifele (knee) and Chris Thorburn (ankle).

"I would expect Byfuglien, Bogosian, Slater in the morning skate (Saturday) and could be available to play," the coach said after Friday’s hour-long practice downtown. "I’m fairly optimistic that’s going to happen."

Byfuglien, in particuar, had a hot stick before he went out after Monday’s 3-1 loss in St. Louis.

"He’s had improvement over the two days, that was positive," the coach reported. "He could have skated today but one more day, we’re hopeful."

Slater did skate before Jets practice today, and went the full distance with the team, likely leaving his case as the most optimistic.

As well today, forward John Albert worked out with the team. He has missed five games since being hurt in Colorado on March 10.

As for Pavelec, he will be absent again against the Hurricanes, though he has been back on the ice. Maurice said his No. 1 goalie skated for 40 minutes on Thursday and did so again today, and might be a possibility for Monday’s game in Dallas.

"Maybe Dallas, then I would said probably San Jose, available," Maurice said. "I’m basing that solely on the progression he’s on right now, if it continues."

All the ifs, ands or maybes complicate the Jets’ urgent need for points as they try to keep alive their dream of qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

After Thursday night’s action, Winnipeg trails the eighth-place Phoenix Coyotes by six points (79-73), with Dallas (75) and Vancouver (74) in between them and the last playoff team in the Western Conference.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

 

 

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