The Winnipeg Jets will get some quality reinforcements when they face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, BSSUNX, ESPN+, SN NOW).
attackers Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers and Cole Perfettias well as the defender Nate Schmidtwill all return to play.
Wheeler has missed the last nine games and had surgery days after sustaining a groin injury on Dec. 15. He has 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 29 games this season.
“We found out yesterday that he got the green light to play, which was a surprise for us,” admitted coach Rick Bowness. It says a lot about his character, his dedication to this team and his desire to play. He likes to play. He works hard every day. You have to give him credit, he’s worked extremely hard and he’s back faster than we thought, so that’s great news for all of us. »
Video: WPG@CHI: Wheeler redirects Morrissey’s shot
Ehlers hasn’t played since Oct. 17 due to a sports hernia that required surgery. He had three assists in two games before getting injured.
Perfetti (six goals, 14 assists in 33 games) has missed the last five games with a shoulder injury, while Schmidt (upper body) has been out for nine games.
« When you miss a few weeks of activity, your timing and your physical conditioning aren’t necessarily up to par, since you haven’t experienced the intensity of games in quite a while, » Bowness said. They are going to need a few matches [pour retrouver leur rythme], without a doubt. »
Ehlers will find his place alongside Pierre-Luc Dubois and of Kyle Connor. Wheeler and Perfetti will complete a trio with Mark Scheifele. In defense, Schmidt will take the place of Kyle Capobianco on the third pair.