You can add the rather odd title of goat owner to the list of roles currently being juggled by Winnipeg Jets centreman Mark Scheifele.
Over the weekend the Jets Instagram account posted a photo of Scheifele holding two goats, one under each arm, while on the ice at Bell MTS Place. The photo caption offered few clues about why Scheifele was holding the goats, so when asked, the 28-year-old revealed more about his new adventure into pet parenthood.
"I've been a goat owner for a month and a half, maybe? Got two baby goats. Named them after my two favourite athletes, so Tiger Woods and Tom Brady. It's just fun," said Scheifele, who noted that along with Brady and Woods being his favourite athletes, they're also the G.O.A.T.s (greatest of all time) of their respective sports.
"They're best friends with (my dog) Oliver. They're fun little guys. They're energetic. They're pretty fun to hang out with, so brought them to the rink the other day and they were buzzing around on the ice, so it was pretty cool to see that. I don't think the trainers were too happy because they kind of pooped everywhere."
Scheifele said the idea to purchase the goats as pets began as a joke, but has blossomed into a real connection. He says they're part of his daily routine now, including feeding them first thing in the morning.
"I have a bunch of space to let them roam around and eat grass and get outside. It's a pretty cool thing," Scheifele said. "Honestly, I never really knew much about them and then you start taking care of them and you wake up in the morning, you bring them their alfalfa pellets and you open the door, they instantly BAHH at you, so it's kind of like they're saying, 'DAAD!'"
INJURY UPDATE: The Jets were in a seemingly Baaahd — OK, I'm done now — situation when they took the ice for their first postseason practice Sunday. But there was some good news on Monday, as a couple players returned to the ice and have either been cleared to play or stated they'll be ready to go.
Paul Stastny missed Sunday's workout after taking a crosscheck in the midsection in his first shift in a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday. He left briefly and returned to play the first two periods before sitting out the third. He was back Monday and will be in the lineup Wednesday for Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers.
Andrew Copp was still in his yellow non-contact jersey but participated in all drills, including special teams. He later told Winnipeg Sports Talk, a local online sport show, that he was ready to go for Game 1. Nikolaj Ehlers also remains in a yellow jersey and is questionable for Wednesday.
Still unclear is the status of Pierre-Luc Dubois, injured Friday when taking a shot in the head. He returned for another shift but looked groggy and left the game a short time after.
Jets head coach Paul Maurice could not say whether he'd be available, but there's reason to believe that if he doesn't get back on the ice Tuesday — and even if he does — it will be a game-time decision.
PUTTING IN WORK: Connor Hellebuyck was the only other player missing from practice, but that's because he was on the ice earlier working with goalie coach Wade Flaherty.
"We like to get Connor a half hour to 45 minutes with Wade Flaherty as often as we can. The schedule doesn’t allow it a whole lot, but he really likes that too. We’re doing a power play today, which means there are going to be a lot of shots that go to the net. He can get more out of spending time with Flats. We’ve done this in the past," Maurice explained.
"Now that we have three goalies, he goes out and gets his movement drills — he has a bunch of things he likes to do to prep himself for a game. We have a bunch of days off. So you’ll see that. If we have time on our schedule — and we do it right at the start of training camp — we pull a goaltender and they spend an hour with Flats. It’s a routine he likes to have. Some days you’re trying to get your team up and down the ice. That’s great, except the goalies see 1,000 shots and it’s not really what they need."
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.