The Winnipeg Jets were left searching for answers Saturday, after losing their sixth consecutive game at home. On Sunday they were left searching for players, as losses of a different sort began to pile up.
The Jets have been without star forward Evander Kane since November 29th because of a lower-body injury. However, he could play Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Defenceman Zach Bogosian (groin) hasn’t played since November 15th and is still a couple of weeks away from returning. Meanwhile, Paul Postma (blood clot) and Jim Slater, who recently underwent sports hernia surgery, remain out long-term.
That brings us to Matt Halischuk and Anthony Peluso, who will miss time because of incidents that occurred Saturday against the Dallas Stars.
In the second period, Dallas defenceman Alex Goligoski passed the puck up ice from along the boards in his own end. At that point Peluso hit him (with his shoulder) from behind into the boards. Goligoski was cut on the play and received 12 stitches, but did return to the game. Peluso was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. On Sunday the league also came down on Peluso, handing him a three-game suspension which will cost him $8,653.86 US in salary, according to CBC.ca.
The 24-year-old was selected in the sixth round, 160th overall in the 2007 NHL draft by the St. Louis Blues. He made his NHL debut last season with the Jets and now has a total of 21 games under his belt. At 6’3″, 235 pounds, Peluso offers size and strength, but not much in terms of offence, as he has just three career points.
Halischuk left the game with less than two minutes remaining in the first period after blocking a shot by Dallas forward Alex Chaisson. The shot struck him in the right arm and as feared, he won’t be suiting up anytime soon.
#NHLJets announce Matt Halischuk has undergone successful forearm surgery to repair a fracture suffered last game. He is out indefinitely.
— Scott Brown (@BrownScottTN) December 15, 2013
Halischuk had been playing on a line with Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik and the trio seemed to be developing some chemistry. In fact, Halischuk scored his third goal of the season earlier in the game versus Dallas. He’s also been important defensively in his first season with the Jets, having averaged more than a minute of ice time on the penalty kill.
So, who will the Jets call up with Halischuk on injured reserve? Perhaps Eric O’Dell of the St. John’s IceCaps, who is tied for fourth in the AHL with 29 points this season. The 23-year-old forward was selected in the second round, 39th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2008 draft, but has yet to make his NHL debut.