Winnipeg Jets Down 3 Defencemen, But for How Long?

News keeps getting worse for the Winnipeg Jets’ defensive core. The blue line is suddenly decimated with injuries to three key pieces, Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian and Grant Clitsome.  The Jets have taken seven of a possible eight points in their past four games, sit fourth in the Central Division and are holding on to a wild card spot.

Extending their point streak may be tough and coming out of December with a winning record won’t be easy either, considering the extent of the injuries.

(Shawn Coates-USA TODAY Sports)
(Shawn Coates-USA TODAY Sports)

Zach Bogosian

Injury: Lower body

Out for: 4-6 weeks

Bogosian was hit by a shot in the Jets’ overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday. He managed to finish the game but will be out for the rest of December. It’s unfortunate news for Bogosian, but it’s nothing he isn’t used to. He’s missed plenty of time due to injuries the past few seasons. And, while he has yet to score this season, he does have eight assists to go along with 54 hits and 33 blocked shots in 25 games.

 Tobias Enstrom

Injury: Lower body

Out for: At least until January

Enstrom was injured in a loss to the Detroit Red Wings on November 20. He’s practiced recently with the team including this past Tuesday, however, he has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to November 23. The Swedish blueliner has one goal and eight assists for nine points in 22 games this season.

 Grant Clitsome

Injury: Undisclosed

Out for: 2 weeks

Clitsome missed Tuesday’s practiced and Paul Maurice announced he will miss a minimum two weeks. The details of his injury are not known at this time. Clitsome didn’t have a great training camp, but has been good defensively this season. He has one assist, 28 hits and 10 blocked shots in 16 games this season.

 The Replacements

The switch has been made. Dustin Byfuglien is going back to the blue line, his preferred position. Joining him are Ben Chiarot and Julien Brouillette from the St. John’s IceCaps. At 6’3″, 215 pounds Chiarot offers a physical presence and is capable of contributing some offence as well. He has four goals and five assists for nine points in 24 games this season. Brouillette has two goals and two assists in 11 games this season and recorded two points in 10 games with the Washington Capitals last season.

Byfuglien remained stone faced when asked about switching back to defence.

The Jets will have to play mistake-free hockey, take advantage of every offensive chance and get some superb goaltending from Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson. January can’t come soon enough.