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This article was published 30/12/2014 (2702 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
MAYBE because they've been dealing with their injuries so well did Monday's news Evander Kane will miss the next five-plus weeks cause barely a ripple for the Winnipeg Jets.
Coach Paul Maurice announced at Monday's game-day skate before the game against the Minnesota Wild Kane was out that long because of a lower-body injury.
The left-winger, who had two assists in Saturday's game in Minnesota, was felled by friendly fire in the third period -- the suspected incident that caused his injury.
Winnipeg is already without its top four defencemen -- Zach Bogosian, Toby Enstrom, Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart -- so Kane becomes the fifth big-minutes player who's out long-term.
Bogosian and Enstrom are slated to return in mid-January, while the rest aren't projected to be back until February.
Kane's injury has brought right-winger Chris Thorburn to the third line, centred by Adam Lowry, into Kane's spot, while Monday, T.J. Galiardi came from the press box to the fourth line, taking Thorburn's spot.
Based on play of late, the bigger immediate worry for the Jets might be who will fill Kane's minutes on the penalty kill.
Maurice said Monday he's got some options and will likely start out pairing Michael Frolik with Blake Wheeler in one duo, and moving Galiardi in with Slater on another.
"(I've also) looked at (Matt) Halischuk, he's killed for us," Maurice said. "We've talked about Mark Scheifele, but now we're getting into minutes, and the other one is Lowry. He's done some killing. He took a big faceoff with eight seconds left (Saturday) in that penalty-kill and won it clean and down the ice it went."
There are also ramifications on the power play, where Maurice hinted strongly Lowry will go in for Kane.
"Lowry does a nice job in front of net," the coach said. "The decision will probably be more what am I going to do on the power play to start because we need somebody to go into that Evander hole. If it's Lowry, I'll hold him off the PK and find other guys to do it."
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Kane's injury affords the Jets another recall, though none was made Monday.
Sunday, when the team finally put Stuart on the injured-reserve list and had an opening -- already suspecting Kane would be out -- it opted to bring up Patrice Cormier, for a third time this season, from AHL St. John's.
Maurice said Eric O'Dell, who played 30 games for the Jets last season, was another option.
"We talked to Eric and I've got a real comfort level with him," Maurice said. "I've got some time for his game. Patrice has been a real strong performer down there and deserves to come up. We won't be bringing up offence to change our offensive game from the American Hockey League. They're going to have to come in and play the game we're playing as a group.
"There wasn't a premium put into bringing in our best offensive guy because that's going to change where we are. In a lot of ways, Chris (Thorburn) is a version of Evander. He's big, he's fast and he'll take pucks to the net. He fits kind of style-wise with what that line is doing. They were really good in Dallas so we have an expectation that they should be fine.
"We're been scoring enough to win. We just have to make sure we're not giving up so much it takes us out of the game."