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Little stays behind as Jets begin road trip

by Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) / Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG – After a test revealed a “red flag” with his condition following a dangerous hit late last week, Bryan Little did not travel with the team today as they departed for Dallas to begin a two-game road trip.

Little was injured in the second period of a 6-5 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning when opposing defender Anton Stralman levelled him in open ice with a rancorous hit to the head.

“He’s going to do another test here either today or tomorrow and then we’ll proceed based on those results,” Head Coach Paul Maurice said following an abbreviated, but upbeat practice Wednesday at MTS Centre.

Depending on the results of those tests, Little may join the team in Pittsburgh for Saturday’s matinee (2:00pm CT, Sportsnet). Before then, the Jets will have another crack at the Stars as they finish up a home-and-home set with their division rivals tomorrow night at American Airlines Center.

The Jets dropped the front half 5-3 at MTS Centre.

“If they got five chances in a game they could score five goals,” Maurice said of the Stars, who were extremely opportunistic, tallying that many on just 27 shots last night. “They’re an exceptionally dangerous team with the shooters they have.”

The Jets have 23 games left to make up a 12-point deficit for the second and final wild-card playoff spot.

“The challenge is in your room to get to that level [of desperation],” Maurice said. “You’re going to face three kinds of teams. There are a group of teams that are at the top end of the league and their desperation level is at that playoff intensity. There’s a reason they’re at the top. Then you’re going to have a big chunk that are either fighting for their lives to get in or fighting for their lives to hang on, and matching that intensity level.

“When you don’t have that in your room going into the game that’s a challenge.”

– Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com

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