Jim Slater is down with an injury, Patrice Cormier is up from St. John’s and Alex Burmistrov is fighting to get back into the lineup.
That, in a nutshell, sums up the developments Wednesday with the Winnipeg Jets, who gathered at MTS Iceplex following Tuesday’s dominating 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and with the New York Rangers in town for Thursday’s tilt (7 p.m. TSNJets/TSN 1290).
Slater, the veteran centre, apparently broke his hand blocking a shot Tuesday night and according to coach Claude Noel, will be gone "week-to-week." The Jets recalled the 22-year-old Cormier from the IceCaps to fill his spot in the lineup, although Noel said his insertion will be a game-time decision.
Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round, 54th overall, of the 2008 NHL entry draft, Cormier has 11 points (7G, 4A) in 32 games with the IceCaps this season and has been their best player in the last month.
"The reports I got [indicate] he’s been playing quite well," said Noel of Cormier. "He’s been very aggressive and been one of their better players. We get game reports every game and he’s done well. He brings energy, he’s a strong guy, good on face-offs and he’s played very well. I think he’ll be enthused to get back up here."
As for Burmistrov – who was a healthy scratch from the lineup Tuesday – he wasn’t saying much about Noel’s decision. And the coach was just as mum.
"That’s a coach’s decision. I guess I’m not playing that good," Burmistrov said. "I will just stick with working hard in practice and trying to get back."
"It was just a coach’s decision... which is one I don’t want to share with you," added Noel. "Alexander and I have a good relationship and I’ve always been open with him and spoke to him. And I’ve spoken to him all the way along. I spoke to him again today. For me, it’s something between him and I that we need to work out."
The Jets play host to the Rangers Thursday and then are in Toronto and Ottawa Saturday and Sunday before returning home for four in a row at MTS Centre against Boston, back-to back with Washington and then Tampa Bay.