NEWARK, NJ – Paul Postma is going to get another shot to impress Winnipeg Jets’ brass. And the Jets, collectively, want to keep this mini-roll they’re on going through the weekend and into the finale of their road trip in Buffalo on Tuesday.
The Jets announced Saturday morning that they have recalled the young defenceman from the St. John’s IceCaps while placing Tobias Enstrom, out with a broken collar bone, on the injured reserve list retroactive to Oct. 31.
A 22-year-old Red Deer product, Postma is the third defencemen to be summoned from the IceCaps after Brett Festerling and Mark Flood joined the team earlier this week and he’ll be in the lineup against the New Jersey Devils (6 p.m. CT, CBC/TSN Radio).
"I was pretty excited when I got that call (Friday)," said Postma after practice Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark. "It’s not your first call up and you’ve been there before so the nerves aren’t exactly what they used to be, but with all the injuries I’m just glad I get the chance to play."
Postma has appeared in 10 games with the IceCaps this year and has two goals and six assists – tied for the team’s scoring lead. He was originally selected by the organization in the seventh round (205th overall) of the 2007 NHL draft. He was paired with Johnny Oduya during Saturday’s skate and could see some time on the Jets’ power-play against the Devils.
"He’s very capable. He’ll help us," said Jets head coach Claude Noel. "He’ll play some power-play, but we just want him to defend, be responsible and move the puck up and just play simple. He was good in training camp and disappointed to be reassigned, but he’s back and we just want him to play a clean game."
Injuries have ravaged the Jets’ defensive corps this week. In addition to Enstrom, Mark Stuart is battling an assortment of hurts while Randy Jones took a shot off the foot in Thursday’s win over the New York Islanders and won’t be available for Saturday’s game against the Devils. Stuart skated Saturday, but is still listed as day to day. The club hopes he could be available for Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
As well, the team is without two other defencemen, Ron Hainsey and Derek Meech.
Meanwhile, Nik Antropov – who took a shot off the hand last week but returned to finish the game – will be in the lineup but will likely be shifted from centre to wing and not take any faceoffs. That means Alex Burmistrov will move back to centre with Evander Kane patrolling the other wing. Kenndal McArdle cleared waivers and the team won’t make a decision on whether he is in the lineup until after the pre-game skate.
Devils’ sniper Ilya Kovalchuk is out for the Devils.
"We’re going to have to manage our game intelligently with the defence that we have, spend as little time as we can in our zone and find ways to exploit their game," said Noel. "This is a game we feel we can win."
Ondrej Pavelec, who shut out the Islanders Thursday, will be back in the net for the Jets.
"He’s going to play. He’s on a roll, he’s in a good place," said Noel. "I mean, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate playing him back to back tonight and tomorrow. That wouldn’t be an issue for me. Does it follow into Buffalo? I would probably ride him right now the way he is. It depends on how the games go. If there’s a lot of penalties, a lot of power plays, a lot of shots, a lot of activity... then you have to be careful."