Copp held out of lineup as precaution
Versatile forward did not suffer concussion in game against Blues
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/03/2022 (266 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Andrew Copp was a spectator Tuesday night but remains a valuable asset.
The Winnipeg Jets forward was held out of an NHL meeting with the Vegas Golden Knights at Canada Life Centre.
Copp, 27, apparently did not suffer a concussion Sunday in St. Louis, however, he was scratched as a precaution. The product of Ann Arbor, Mich., left the game after a taking a neutral-zone hit from Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist early in the third period.
The check wasn’t over the line, although Copp had his head down and was in a vulnerable spot.
While his well-being remains the top concern, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is also taking a cautionary approach to the productive two-way winger, who remains a valuable trade piece in the coming days.
The NHL trade deadline is Monday.
Copp plays a number of roles on the Central Division squad, working with the second power-play unit and the penalty kill, while playing big minutes at 5-on-5. He has 13 goals and 32 points in 54 games, although he has just a goal and three helpers in his last 14 outings.
The New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators all had scouts in the building Tuesday. Boston has been mentioned as a possible landing spot, should Winnipeg settle on moving the pending unrestricted free agent before the deadline.
But the Jets are now within striking distance of a Western Conference wild-card spot, which clouds the issue for Cheveldayoff.
Winnipegger Adam Brooks filled the roster spot against the Golden Knights, playing on the fourth line with Dominic Toninato and Kristian Vesalainen.
Brooks went pointless in five games before being a healthy scratch the last six outings.
“Anytime that you miss those amount of games, when you get the chance, you want to be ready to go and you want to prove stuff to the coaches,” said Brooks, who was claimed on waiver form the Toronto Maple Leafs in mid-February.
It’s been a nomadic season for Brooks, 25, who has also spent time with the Montreal Canadiens and Golden Knights earlier this season.
“I’ve been on a lot of teams this year, so there’s a lot of different systems, but at the same time, a lot of them kind of start to look similar. This team has done a great job of welcoming me, the coaches have done a great job of getting me accustomed to everything that’s going on here,” Brooks said.
Evgeny Svechnikov figured the timing was right to offer a kind word to the men in stripes, particularly after his earlier show of contempt Sunday night.
The Winnipeg forward was in the midst of serving a 10-minute misconduct when he skated over and spoke to an official prior to the start of the second period of the Jets’ battle with the Blues in St. Louis.
“I just really wanted to put a positive note for myself. I didn’t want to do it, but I just think that was a better move, to put myself in a better perspective,” the always animated Svechnikov explained, after the team’s morning skate Tuesday.
“Even though I didn’t say anything when I went to the box, it was just more of a slash on the glass and I regret that.”
Indeed, frustrated after being assessed a slashing penalty at 15:28 of the opening period, he two-handed the glass — prompting a stern reaction from an official.
Svechnikov, who has six goals and 10 assists in 50 games, said the break between periods gave him a chance to clear his head.
“I just wanted to say better words, so he doesn’t hate me next time,” he said, generating laughs from the press corps.
It’s no secret the ebullient Svechnikov plays with emotion. When the 2015 first-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings is the on the ice, the joy level is high.
He’s been ‘mic’d up’ twice this season and the resulting video is pure gold.
But Sunday’s misstep wasn’t his first in a Winnipeg jersey. After complaining about an interference call against the visiting Edmonton Oilers in December, his time in the box was immediately doubled.
In St. Louis, Nikolaj Ehlers was bumped into Svechnikov’s spot with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, and the trio was dynamite. After he exited the penalty box, Svechnikov was stapled to the bench for the rest of the second period but played in the final frame.
Interim head coach Dave Lowry said the move was more about the success of the new-look Dubois line and less about punishment.
“The best thing about Svech is he’s got some emotion and he cares. Sometimes, it gets the best of him. Obviously, taking (a misconduct) takes him out of the flow of the game,” Lowry said. “We talked to him after the second period and say, “Hey, get ready to go, you’re going to play. The reason we didn’t play you in the second was we had a rotation and it was working, and I didn’t want to get out of it.’
“He had a good understanding. When he came out, he gave us a good third period.”
A contrite Svechnikov, who skated Tuesday on an effective third line with Adam Lowry and Jansen Harkins, said he’ll learn from the incident.
“I always put the team in front first. I always try to fight for it, and when those moments happen I regret it and I hate it. And I generally worry about it and take it close into my heart,” he said. “I am emotional and I go hard. But I don’t know if I do it necessarily specifically to hurt something, the team or myself, but I try to control it.
“All I can say is that we got the big win and that’s all that matters.”
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).