Take a deep breath, Jets fans.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/1/2016 (2324 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Take a deep breath, Jets fans.

If you listened closely, you could hear a collective sigh of relief come from Jets Nation Friday morning as head coach Paul Maurice announced that Dustin Byfuglien will be a player in tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (7 p.m., TSN3, TSN1290).

Dustin Byfuglien celebrates his goal against the Nashville Predators  Thursday.


Dustin Byfuglien celebrates his goal against the Nashville Predators Thursday.

Byfuglien was forced to leave near the midway point of the third period in Thursday nights' 5-4 overtime win against Nashville after he got tangled up with Predators forward Cody Bass. The Minnesota native looked to get the worst of the incident, one that included Bass grabbing Byfuglien's left arm as the two fell to the ice. Byfuglien looked to be in considerable pain as he skated off the ice favouring his arm, leaving his status after the game in major doubt.

That is, until he participated in a brief skate this morning, one that included him decked out in a tracksuit for a workout that lasted less than a minute.

"We had a pretty good idea after the game that by the time we got off the plane that he was feeling real strong," said Maurice, his voice hoarse from the night before. "It was good news but we were pretty confident he’s be able to go."

Defenceman Tyler Myers also took his fair share of abuse late in the game. In the final minutes the blue-liner was seen limping after taking consecutive shots off the ankle. He too skated this morning, and like Byfuglien, will be a player come puck drop.

"Oh yeah, I’m good," said Myers. "Bumps and bruises over the season; it’s normal and nothing serious at all."

"Yeah that’s pretty standard when you’re blocking shots the way he did," added Maurice. "We had a few guys limping after the game and they’re all going to be good."

Asked about the punishment late in the game, Maurice continued to flash his sense of humour.

"I think it’s because we wouldn’t let him near the bench for the last five (minutes). We just kept squirting water and he’d grab some on the way by. Nah, he’s fine, he’s good."

Maurice wouldn’t tip his hat on who else may be injured, saying simply that a few guys would be game-time decisions but that it wasn’t "any different from any other game."

Connor Hellebuyck backstopped the Jets in the win over the Predators but the coach would not say whether he’d return between the pipes tonight against the Wild or whether Michael Hutchinson would earn the nod.

"We’ll go back with one of the two," said a coy Maurice.

The Jets hope to build off their intensity displayed in the win last night. The victory over the Predators snapped a three-game winless drought (0-2-1). The Wild will also look to get back on track as they end a three-game homestand that started with two losses against New Jersey and Buffalo.

Tonight is the fourth of five games against the Wild this season, with the Jets having won two of those games including their most recent tilt: a 3-1 win in St. Paul back on Nov. 27.

"We know they’re a fast team, they play quick," said Myers. "I guess it’s a rivalry in the sense that they’re a divisional opponent and you’re trying to catch them for a playoff spot. We expect a tough game coming in on a back-to-back for us, it’s just a matter of playing a simple game and playing it hard."

The Jets currently sit last place in the Central Division with a record of 20-21-3 but remain just three points shy of Nashville (19-17-8) and four points away from Colorado (22-20-3) for that final playoff wild card spot. The Wild (22-13-8) sit in fourth place in the Central, nine points up on the Jets and with one game in hand.

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.