Missed practice a precaution, Byfuglien likely playing Thursday: Maurice

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Dustin Byfuglien didn't practice with his Winnipeg Jets teammates Wednesday but the veteran blue-liner, involved in an epic collision with Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Jamie Oleksiak Tuesday night, isn't expected to miss any action.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/11/2018 (1471 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Dustin Byfuglien didn’t practice with his Winnipeg Jets teammates Wednesday but the veteran blue-liner, involved in an epic collision with Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Jamie Oleksiak Tuesday night, isn’t expected to miss any action.

He’ll likely be in the lineup when Chicago Blackhawks visit Thursday night. Game time is 7 p.m. (TSN 3, TSN1290).

“Buff felt good after the game, felt good this morning,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said after practice, adding Byfuglien, who has also been battling the flu, got the day off as a precaution. “But we still monitor those things. We’ll see how he’s doing (Thursday) morning.”

Trevor Hagan / THE CANADIAN PRESS Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien hits Pittsburgh Penguins' Jamie Oleksiak during the first period Tuesday. Byfuglien would fall down right after the hit and struggle to get up and return to the bench.

The 6-5, 260-pound Byfuglien rocked the 6-7, 255-pound Oleksiak during the first period. Both players eventually went to their benches but Byfuglien, who managed to get to the bench on rubber legs, needed help getting off the ice. An NHL spotter sent him off for concussion testing, and he was back playing before the period was over.

“They run a protocol and he either passes or fails, based on a baseline test they do at the start of every year,” Maurice said. “If he passes it, and he feels good — there’s room for the player to say, ‘Hey, I know I just passed my test but there’s something I don’t feel right about’ — and he feels good, he plays.”

Byfuglien passed the test. Maurice was asked how he squared that diagnosis with No. 33’s immediate reaction to the hit.

“I don’t and that’s the whole point of this thing,” he said. “So there are guys that get around the ice, nothing happens, they’re not feeling right, they go into it, they’ve got a problem and you can’t find the hit. And sometimes they can’t tell you when it happened.

“And there’s other ones that look like there must be something there, they pass the test, don’t miss a day and feel great. So they have that test because you can’t with the naked eye decide what it is.”

The news wasn’t as good for third-line winger Andrew Copp.

Copp, sidelined with a concussion since a frightening hit into the boards from Minnesota’s J.T. Brown in St. Paul Friday, practised in a non-contact jersey Wednesday but was placed on injured reserve hours later.

Centre Mark Scheifele and defenceman Joe Morrow also skipped the workout but Maurice said he expects them to be available for Thursday’s game.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES The Winnipeg Jets have called up Manitoba Moose defenceman Cameron Schilling.

In another move, Winnipeg recalled defenceman Cam Schilling from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The club is already missing defenders Sami Niku, who was called up to the Jets, and Tucker Poolman, who has an upper-body injury.

Schilling, 30, leads all Moose defencemen with six assists in 15 games. He hasn’t played an NHL game since suiting up for the Washington Capitals during the 2014-15 season and has only six career games in the bigs.

He has career totals of 136 points in the AHL, including 32 goals in 441 regular-season games.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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