WINNIPEG - For the second straight game, after spending the past month losing one player after another to injury, the Winnipeg Jets are welcoming back another - potentially two - healthy reinforcements.
Toby Enstrom was back on the ice today after spending some time back home in Sweden tending to a family matter, and will be in the lineup tomorrow as the Jets face Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers in the finale of a three-game home stand.
Enstrom was one of seven players (six skaters and one goaltender) that took part in an optional practice at MTS Iceplex.
Joining Enstrom was Mathieu Perreault, who's inching closer after suffering an upper-body injury on Nov. 3. The 28-year-old has missed the past 14 games, but could be back in the lineup tomorrow as well, assuming he comes back to the rink in the morning feeling as good as he did today.
Perreault was out for a longer period than many expected, but after the injury resurfaced early on his recovery, he and the team erred on the side of caution and made sure he was 100 percent ready before putting him back on the ice.
Video: PRACTICE | Mathieu Perreault
"I went back on the ice and it felt good for a little bit, but then it came back, so I wanted to be careful with it," Perreault said. "I'm pretty much ready to go. I've been feeling good for a couple days, so I told (Maurice) I'm ready when he needs me.
"That road trip was hard to watch. When your team is struggling and can't win a game, it was hard not to be out there. Now, hopefully I can come back and help this team win more games."
The forward has been back skating for some time, and now, with two full practices without a non-contact sweater under his belt, he should be ready to go.
Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice
"We'll let him get through another day and into the morning," Maurice said. "He had a good skate today, he's gone full contact for a few days. If he declares himself ready to play, we'll meet with the medical staff and make a decision then."
Perreault has one goal and three points in 11 games this year.
Don't look now, but sophomore winger Nikolaj Ehlers has officially joined Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine near the top of the NHL's leaderboards. With another assist last night in a 3-2 win over the Devils, Ehlers now sits third overall with 16 on the year, just four back of the league-leader, McDavid.
"(Scheifele's) goal last night really starts because Nik Ehlers, from behind their net he comes back out hard into the slot and knocks a puck down, and keeps it in the zone. That's usually a sign of maturity, that an offensive player knows how his play defensively can get him something. You have to play on both sides of the puck, and we think he's made good progress with that.
"When he skates the way he's capable of skating, he affects what happens on the line with now Mark and Patrik. He pulls people off, (and) he buys them more time."
Video: PRACTICE | Nikolaj Ehlers
Ehlers has gone 10 games without a goal, but he's piled up the assists and as a result, finishes the month of November as one of the hottest players in the league with 16 points in his last 14 games.
ON THE MEND
Marko Dano tweeted this gnarly photo of the repair job to his nose and right eye following a high stick in last night's win over the Devils:
You can hardly even notice it.
Dano left the game early in the first period and did not return after being struck with a while battling for a loose puck around the Jersey net. The offender, Kyle Quincey, was not penalized.
Dano and the Jets both got good news this morning, as it appears that no damage was done to the eye itself, and he should be ready to play tomorrow.
"He'll have another appointment tonight to make sure that nothing has changed from our first look at it," Maurice said. "If he's cleared and the swelling subsides, and we believe it will, he'll be available to play."
- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com