July 9, 2020

Winnipeg
19° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Close this

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

The good news: Laine's foot just bruised; the bad? He's out for a bit

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/3/2018 (839 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Patrik Laine's foot is still smarting and he'll likely be watching the Winnipeg Jets' next couple of games from the press box.

But his block of a hard drive by Los Angeles Kings' defenceman Alec Martinez Tuesday night did not result in any significant injury, Jets coach Paul Maurice said Thursday.

</p><p>Patrik Laine leaves the ice after getting hurt against the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)</p>

Patrik Laine leaves the ice after getting hurt against the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)

"There’s nothing broken and he’s got a bruise. When he gets his foot in the boot and feels comfortable, he’ll be back playing," Maurice told reporters following practice at Bell MTS Place.

Bryan Little took Laine's spot alongside centre Paul Stastny and winger Nikolaj Ehlers during the morning line rushes.

The Finnish sniper was struck by the shot early in the second period. He hobbled off the ice and needed help to get to the dressing room.

Laine has 43 goals (68 points) in 73 games games this season, just one behind league-leader Alex Ovechkin (44), the Washington Capitals' star left-winger.

Maurice was asked for an ETA on the sophomore winger's return.

"Four days to 14 days is probably the range we’ve seen in the past. That has nothing to do with (Laine), we’ll see how he heals," he said. "Early on, I would say it’s been very good. It’s quite a bit less swelling after Day 1 than Day 2. He’s motoring around on his own power."

Laine definitely won't play Friday when the streaking Anaheim Ducks come to town. Game time is 7 p.m (TSN 3, TSN 1290).

As for Sunday's 6 p.m. (Sportsnet, TSN 1290) tilt with the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators?

"I’m not shooting for that one. We’ll see," Maurice said.

Winnipeg (44-19-10) trails the Predators by eight points but is eight ahead of the third-place Minnesota Wild (41-24-8) in the Central. Both the Jets and Wild have nine contests left in the regular season and could meet in the first round of the playoffs if Minnesota can fend off the hard-charging Colorado Avalanche (40-25-8).

Maurice said there's no hurry to get Laine back in the lineup until he's good and ready.

"We’ll give it a few days. We want him to be able to skate, we want him to be able to play and in the situation that we’re in, we don’t want him hobbling around the ice," said Maurice. "We want him to be able to move pretty comfortably, so we’ll take as much time as we need until we get to that point. I just can’t give you the day."

The injury slammed the brakes on Laine's scorching 15-game point-scoring streak. He notched 18 goals and added eight assists during the stretch, which began Feb. 16 against the visiting Avalanche.

Little said Laine's absence, even a brief one, creates a sizable void.

"He’s such a big part of our team and of our offence. Just the power play alone, that leaves a big hole," he said.

Laine, who doesn't turn 20 until April 19, is the NHL's top power-play marksman, lighting the lamp 19 times thus far. He's four ahead of Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steve Stamkos and five up on Ovechkin, Dallas Stars centre Tyler Seguin and Pittsburgh Penguins centre Evgeni Malkin.

"He’s been playing really well lately, not just scoring goals, but doing everything well," added Little. "The way he got hurt, he’s blocking a shot for the team. It’s tough to lose a guy, especially when he’s playing like that."

Little (14G, 26A) has skated on the wing with centre Andrew Copp and Mathieu Perreault during the current home stand and doesn't expect any difficulty meshing with his new mates in Laine's absence.

"I always think for centremen switching to the wing is a bit easier. It’s just a matter of getting used to who I’m on the ice with, my linemates, and getting that chemistry going," he said.

Stastny has been a major contributor since his acquisition Feb. 26 at the trade deadline, scoring three goals and setting up seven others. Ehlers has nine points, including three goals in that period.

Little is hoping for a seamless transition during the temporary assignment.

"I’m going to try and, hopefully, keep them going. They’re on a roll and they’ve had really good chemistry since Day 1. Patty’s been on fire and those guys have been playing really well, so I want to come in and try not to disrupt that too much and, hopefully, pick up where they left they left off," he said.

Winnipeg, 3-0 on the home stand with victories over Chicago, Dallas and L.A., needs to maintain its momentum heading into the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Little said knocking heads with a rugged team like the Ducks (38-24-12), who are in a dogfight to land a playoff spot, is exactly what the Jets require to stay sharp.

"It gives the games more of a fast playoff feel. You’ve seen it the last few games here. They’ve all been fast, physical games, pretty tight defensively," he said. "So, it’s almost good for us. It gets us in the right mindset before playoffs."

Rookie forward Jack Roslovic is laid up with the flu and wasn't at the rink Thursday. He's the latest member of the squad to get bitten by the bug and could fill the roster spot left open by Laine's injury.

"He’s about the seventh or eighth guy we’ve dealt with on that," Maurice said. "If he feels strong (Thursday night) and good (Friday), he’ll be in and if he doesn’t, he won’t (play)," said Maurice.

jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPJasonBell

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Assistant sports editor

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).

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

History

Updated on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 3:38 PM CDT: Updated

The Free Press will close this commenting platform at noon on July 14.

We want to thank those who have shared their views over the years as part of this reader engagement initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Free Press will announce new opportunities for readers to share their thoughts and to engage with our staff and each other.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us