The Winnipeg Jets won’t be getting a lengthy break after all.
The National Hockey League rescheduled a game for the Jets after two of their matches were postponed yesterday when an unnamed Vancouver Canucks’ coach and second player were placed in COVID-19 protocols.
The Jets will now play host to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. That game was initially scheduled for May 7.
The Jets were originally scheduled to play the Canucks on Sunday and Tuesday before the Canucks’ outbreak.
Monday’s rescheduled game will start at 6:00 P.M. Manitoba time at Bell MTS Place.
It was also revealed on Friday defenceman Nathan Beaulieu will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs. He underwent shoulder surgery on Thursday to repair a torn labrum.
“We all decided it needed to get done,” head coach Paul Maurice said after the morning skate. “It was a good surgery. Expect a full recovery, but he will be done for the remainder of the season.
“Those things are tough rehabs and take a long time, but we believe that when he’s done it, he’s going to be back, and he deserves that right.”
It’s a different injury from the one that was keeping him out of the lineup. Beaulieu had been out since March 9 with a broken bone in his hand after blocking a shot, and it’s been a tough couple years for the blueliner. Injuries limited him to just 38 games last season.
“Three broken bones last year, another one this year, the shoulder,” said Maurice. “Scratching and clawing to kinda be a player for us. He’s a really important part of that room because of it, right.
“The one thing we know about Beau is that he’s not going to milk it. He’s going to be back the day he’s supposed to be back, and ready to play for sure.”
The Jets host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night in the rematch after the Leafs took part one on Wednesday.
Jets captain Blake Wheeler will be a game-time decision after leaving their last game in the first intermission with an undisclosed injury.
“He was good at the morning skate today,” Maurice said. “Said he felt good. We’ll leave it ’til tonight to make sure he returns feeling the same way. If he feels the same way, then he’ll be a player for us.”
Wheeler has been an ironman in his time in Winnipeg. The 34-year-old missed only one game over the past six seasons, and sat out a total of just six games in the 10 seasons the Jets have been in Winnipeg.
“He’s the heart of our team,” defenceman Neal Pionk said. “I didn’t realize it, I guess, until I got here, but he’s for sure one of the tougher guys I’ve played with. To see the stuff that’s he’s battled through and to see the minimal games he’s missed throughout his career, and then to finally get to play with him – I see why now and how tough he is.”
You can hear the game live on 680 CJOB starting with the pre-game show at 5:00 P.M. Puck drop is set for 7 o’clock.