Winnipeg’s Myers still question mark for Game 4
Potential loss of defenceman adds to Jets’ injury woes, writes Ken Wiebe.
The status of defenceman Tyler Myers is somewhere between questionable and doubtful for Tuesday’s pivotal Game 4 between the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild.
As has become customary during the Stanley Cup playoffs, Jets head coach Paul Maurice wasn’t willing to provide an update on any of his injured players, including Myers.
Myers injured his leg on an awkward play with 4:19 left in the second period of Game 3 when Wild forward Marcus Foligno collided with him after blocking his shot.
Foligno appeared to extend his right arm into the back of Myers’ knee as he fell to the ice, though it’s nearly impossible to determine whether or not there was any intent to injure. Maurice said after Sunday’s 6-2 loss that he didn’t like the play and he didn’t really come off that position during Monday’s meeting with reporters, though he declined to expand on his answer.
The NHL department of player safety felt no supplemental discipline was required for Foligno, who wasn’t penalized on the ice, either.
“You know what, there are very clear guidelines as to my opinions, so I would disagree with the decision,” said Maurice.
The Jets still lead the best-ofseven series 2-1 with Game 4 at the Xcel Energy Center before the series shifts back to Winnipeg for Game 5 on Friday. Several Jets players were of the belief the play was more accidental than anything else. “Everything looks worse in slow-mo. I don’t think it was intentional. It was just kind of an awkward play,” said Jets centre Bryan Little. “He was falling and just reached out and that’s where Myers happened to be. They’re buddies off ice, so I don’t think there’s much to it.”
Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau scoffed at the suggestion there could have been some intent by Foligno, who was a teammate of Myers with the Buffalo Sabres for parts of four seasons.
“(Foligno) fell. Anybody who thinks anything different, that there was something to it, is trying to create something that’s not there,” said Boudreau. “He went to block a shot and he fell, and that was it.”
Myers has two goals and three points through the first three games of the series while averaging 16:20 of ice time. Although he plays on the third pairing, Myers is used on the second power play unit and the penalty kill, so there would be some important minutes to be filled if he’s sidelined. The likely replacement would be Tucker Poolman, unless Toby Enstrom is able to return from an ankle injury. Although Enstrom wasn’t among the 12 skaters and two goalies that went on the ice for Monday’s optional practice, he did get some work in on a stationary bike, so he could be a consideration.
Poolman said he hasn’t been told anything, but he will continue to prepare for his Stanley Cup playoff debut, whenever it comes.