WINNIPEG - Following a 6-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, the Winnipeg Jets stayed off the ice opting for meetings & workouts prior to Thursday's matchup with Chicago.
In addition to the loss, the walking wounded list grew, as Andrew Copp has joined Mathieu Perreault on the sidelines. Copp ran into Canes forward Jordan Staal in the second period Tuesday and will not play in the Jets next three games before the Christmas break.
Perreault and Copp have logged some important minutes along with Adam Lowry during the Jets run of success over the past month and a half. Losing Copp - who is one of the Jets best penalty killers - will be a tough pill to swallow especially with back-to-back games with Central Division rivals and the always troublesome Canadiens on the schedule.
"They bring something really different than the other two lines and different roles than the other two lines play," said Paul Maurice.
"We're in the process of kind of making an assessment of what we will need. We will have to bring in at least one player maybe two in and we'll do that today."
Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice
The Jets now have three players missing from what would be their top nine forwards in Bryan Little, Copp and Perreault. They've done a great job to this point of the season with key players out of the lineup but this should pose a big challenge for Maurice.
"You've been fairly healthy and structured up front so it's allowed you to work with a back end and our forwards have had a big impact on our defence's ability to survive and play well," said Maurice.
"But we've got NHL players who can fill that role and I've run more of a top nine, it's not like I'm going to have to push people into bigger minutes than they've already been getting."
On a positive note, outside of the second period, the Jets put up a good effort against the Hurricanes and did it without Perreault for the entire game and Copp missing the third period.
"It's tough to lose guys like that. Both of them have had really strong seasons and I think both of them lately have been playing great hockey for us," said Josh Morrissey.
"But that's the harsh reality of the NHL is that you're going to have injuries. There's going to be times where the lineup shifts. Guys have to come in and step up in other guys absences so that's going to be big for us to try to get to Christmas here and have guys step up."
Video: PRACTICE | Josh Morrissey
The Jets just played four consecutive games against the Eastern Conference, but now they will close out 2019 with five of the six final contests against divisional opponents. Chicago will arrive late Wednesday after having hosted the Colorado Avalanche.
"When we're right like that we're a pretty tough team to stop," said Kyle Connor when asked about how important the Jets speed will be tomorrow.
"Especially when we know a team is coming in on a back to back like that, we are going to have to jump on them early."
Video: PRACTICE | Kyle Connor