Maurice mum on Myers; Jets could be without three blue-liners in Game 4
ST. PAUL — The status of 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. “No, I can’t,” said Maurice. Myers injured his lego nan awkward play with 4:19 left in the second period of Game 3 when Wild forward Marcus Foligno collided with him after blocking a shot from Myers.
Foligno appears to extend his right arm into the back of Myers’ knee as he falls to the ice, though it’s nearly impossible to determine whether or not there was any intent to injure.
Maurice said after Sunday’s game 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.
“You know what, there are very clear guidelines as to my opinions, so I would disagree with the decision,” said Maurice.
The Jets lost Game 3 by a score of 6-2, but still lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
Game 4 goes Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center before the series heads 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 slowmo. 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 on behalf of Foligno, who was a teammate of Myers with the Buffalo Sabres for parts of four seasons.
“(Foligno) fell. Anybody that 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 along with the penalty kill, so there would be some important minutes to be filled if he’s sidelined.
If Myers is unable to play, he would be likely be replaced by 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.
The Jets have dealt with significant injuries throughout the course of the season and handled adversity well.
With Enstrom and Dmitry Kulikov (back) already out of the lineup, the Jets could be without three of their top six blue-liners for Game 4, while Mathieu Perreault (upper body) and Matt Hendricks (lower body) are dealing with injuries among the forward group.