Mau­rice mum on My­ers; Jets could be with­out three blue-lin­ers in Game 4

The Sault Star - - SPORTS - KEN WIEBE

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.

Tyler My­ers

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