Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel has been inclined not to fix what isn’t broken through his club’s current four-game wining streak.
But after sending out the identical lineup for each of his team’s four most recent wins, Noel has no option but to make changes for Sunday night’s clash with the Minnesota Wild because of a lower body injury to Zach Bogosian.
Noel told reporters Saturday morning following his team’s practice at MTS Centre that Bogosian -- who suffered a lower-body injury late in the second period of Winnipeg’s 3-2 shooutout win over Philadelphia Friday night -- will definitely not play on Sunday in St. Paul and he fears that Bogosian may be out longer than that.
"Bogosian gets further assessment today later this afternoon, so he will not be a player in the game tomorrow. And right now I’m not sure he’s day to day -- it’s longer than that," said Noel.
With Bogosian out for at least Sunday’s game and likely longer, Zach Redmond will on Sunday play his first NHL regular season game since the femoral artery in his right leg was cut by an errant skate in a freak accident during Jets practice in Raleigh, N.C., Feb. 21.
Redmond was asked Saturday if there was ever a moment during his lengthy recovery when he wondered if the day he returned to the NHL would ever come. "I don’t know if it was so much if it would ever come, it was more just taking each challenge as it comes," Redmond replied.
"I wanted to first of all play (in St. John’s) and got those games. And then got up here and went through basically a conditioning stint because we were winning.
"And now here we are."
With Bogosian out for a bit, the Jets on Saturday also called up defenceman Julian Melchiori from St. John’s to give themselves some depth at defence.
Although injured defencemen Mark Stuart (hip) and Jacob Trouba (neck) both skated with the team during full practice on Saturday -- that was a first for Trouba since he was hurt Oct. 18 when he fell awkwardly into the end boards during a game against the St. Louis Blues -- Noel said neither Stuart or Trouba are available yet to play.
Trouba practiced in a non-contact jersey on Saturday, while Stuart did take part in contact drills.
The Jets improved to 10-9-2 with Friday’s win over Philadelphia and have now won four straight and five of their last six games heading into Minnesota. But the Wild are also surging, boasting a 5-0-1 record in their last six games.
The Wild defeated the Jets 2-1 Oct. 10 in the only meeting between the two teams this season.