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Jets goalie Pavelec out until at least January

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/11/2015 (1648 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will be out of the lineup until at least January -- and possibly as long as February -- with what head coach Paul Maurice said Monday morning is a "significant knee sprain.

"The window of recovery on these is harder to pin down (for) goaltenders than it is on skaters. But he’s not playing in December and our best information is it’s going to be January (or) February," Maurice said today following his club’s morning skate at MTS Centre.

"It’s a wider window (of recovery) because it’s a goaltender and he’s not getting back into an NHL net until he’s one hundred per cent."

Pavelec sustained the knee injury in the second period of Saturday night’s 3-2 Jets win over the Arizona Coyotes at MTS Centre. While he went on to finish the period, Pavelec was replaced in the third period by Michael Hutchinson.

The Jets called up goalie Connor Hellebuyck on Sunday from the Manitoba Moose, but Hutchinson will start for the Jets against the Colorado Avalanche Monday night at MTS Centre.

Pavelec has carried the majority of the load in net for the Jets so far this season. He’s played in 15 games and posted a .906 save percentage, a goals-against-average of 2.82 and a record of 5-6-1.

Maurice was asked what impact the loss of Pavelec for such a long time will have on his team. "We don’t know the answer to that question but we’re going to find out," said Maurice. "I think we’re in a real good position here on a number of fronts. And one is that Michael Hutchinson played outside the backup role in big games and in a higher volume than you’d see with a lot of backups.

Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) gets checked and knocked out of his goal by Arizona Coyotes' Shane Doan (19) during the second at MTS Centre Saturday night.


Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) gets checked and knocked out of his goal by Arizona Coyotes' Shane Doan (19) during the second at MTS Centre Saturday night.

"So he has experience and we have a high expectation of play. And we also have depth in Connor Hellebuyck... Connor is a guy who in a lot of ways has followed along in Michael Hutchinson’s program. He had a great year in the American Hockey League (last season), was outstanding at the world championships and had a very good training camp...

"The window was going to open at some point for this young man and here it is. He is going to play sometime, probably sooner than later. I’m interested in seeing him play and I think he could be a really good goalie in this league."

Jets forward Blake Wheeler said today that the loss of Pavelec will sting. "It hurts. (Pavelec) has played well for us. He came in at the end of last year and obviously pretty much carried us to the playoffs...

"So it’s tough losing (Pavelec) but we’re confident in the two guys we have back there."

But how much do you even know about Hellebuyck, Wheeler was asked. "Just a little bit. I’ve seen him in camp. I know he’s a big goalie, I know he moves well. And he’s one of our precious prospects," Wheeler grinned. "So we’ll try to treat him nice."

In other Jets news on Monday, the club called up forward Joel Armia from the Moose. Armia has three goals, three assists and 16 penalty minutes in 14 games with the Moose this season.

Armia will not be in the lineup Monday night, but did skate with the Jets this morning.


Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.

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Updated on Monday, November 23, 2015 at 10:14 AM CST: Corrects typo

10:49 AM: Headline tweaked, adds Pavelec out of the lineup a minimum of seven days.

12:02 PM: Updated with quotes.

12:51 PM: Switched video.

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