The Winnipeg Jets will be without one of their top players for the next 2-to-4 weeks and right in the midst of an intense playoff push. Coach Paul Maurice confirmed Byfuglien’s injury at a press conference on Friday.
“We’ll miss him. He’s a force back there, for sure,” said Maurice. “We’ve dealt with a number of injuries on our back-end; we have good people to put in the lineup and they’ve played well and won games.”
Byfuglien’s injury occurred during a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night after a battle with Sens forward Erik Condra. Byfuglien left the ice and did not return.
The 29-year-old has scored 15 goals and 42 points in 65 games for the Jets this season and will leave a void on a Winnipeg squad that is clinging on to a wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
The team is also currently without center Bryan Little, who was hurt in Wednesday’s matchup against Ottawa. Maurice said he expects Little to be back in the lineup at the tail-end of Winnipeg’s current road trip next week and that he is confident the rest of the team will step up to take on bigger roles.
“The other veteran players have got to make sure their game is at their best, they’re trying to every night, but you’ve got to make sure everybody is on the ‘no passenger concept’ and everybody has got to add something to it,” Maurice said.