Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pasquale's prospects positive

Montoya gone a week for sure; Noel not afraid to use new sub

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Goaltender Al Montoya, who left after the second period with a lower-body injury in Tuesday's loss to Philadelphia, will be out at least a week, Jets coach Claude Noel said Thursday.

"It's 'lower everything,' " Noel said. "It's just every part of his lower body. There's all kinds of cords hanging out everywhere."

Enter Eddie Pasquale, called up from St. John's to replace Montoya and back up Ondrej Pavelec.

Asked what he might expect in his new role, Pasquale just shrugged.

"I haven't heard anything. I flew in yesterday," he said. "I can't listen to anything like that. People are going to say this, that. I'll just take it day by day and think of it as a good experience.

"I was a little nervous when I first got the call coming in here, as you should be as the young guy coming into the NHL. But I'm just going to try and take it day by day.

"I know a lot of the guys here, playing with them, skating with NHL guys back in the summer. It's just another level. If you want to play here, you've got to go through all this."

Noel hinted Pasquale might not be limited to just sitting at the end of the bench.

"I wouldn't be afraid to use him, that's for sure," Noel said. "He's earned the right to be here. The door is open, whether he plays or not."

NEW SAFETY MEASURES? Erik Karlsson had his Achilles tendon sliced open and the anguish he felt is shared by his compadres across the NHL, including here in Winnipeg.

"It's one of those things," said Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey. "You've got razor-sharp skates out there, and every once in a while the skate just comes in the wrong spot."

Hainsey is the only Jets player to wear Kevlar socks, which can prevent injuries like Karlsson's. But when asked if he thought the league would make them mandatory, he was doubtful.

"We haven't mandated visors yet, so I highly doubt that mandated Kevlar socks will be on the agenda next week. I wear them. I've been lucky enough not to be caught with a skate in that region since I've had them on."

Karlsson's plight -- he is lost for the season -- has more players contemplating more protection.

"I don't (wear Kevlar socks). I might have to start," said Jets winger Evander Kane.

"It's kind of a freak injury, and that's very rare to see a skate go between his skate and the foot. You try and protect yourself the best you can out there, and hockey is probably the most-dangerous sport there is, with blades and sticks and pucks going 100 miles an hour.

"But guys are going to wear what they're going to wear and what they're most comfortable with."

MORE OUCH UPDATES: Jets captain Andrew Ladd did not practise Thursday, but will be in the lineup against the Pens. RW Antti Miettinen (upper body) is still listed as week to week.

E.T.'S NEW HOME: Noel confirmed new winger Eric Tangradi, acquired from Pittsburgh on Wednesday, would be in the lineup against his old club Friday. Tangradi did not arrive in Winnipeg until after Thursday's practice.

"We'll take a look at him. I know our people like him," Noel said. "Can he be a consistent player for us? He gets an opportunity. It really speaks volumes that (Pens GM) Ray Shero allows him to be an NHL player, which is great.

"That's what a young guy wants. If he doesn't get an opportunity in Pittsburgh, he can get an opportunity elsewhere." Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 15, 2013 C4

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