UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The Winnipeg Jets will be without one of their best defencemen for the foreseeable future.
The report on the severity of the upper-body injury to Toby Enstrom came back on Thursday and the slick Swede has a broken collarbone and will be out indefinitely.
Enstrom sustained the injury on Monday when he was leveled by Florida Panthers forward Jack Skille while going back to retrieve a puck in his own zone late in the second period of a 4-3 shootout victory.
An injury of that magnitude generally requires at least 4-to-6 weeks of rest and rehabilitation, meaning the Jets will need to redistribute the 25 minutes per game that Enstrom usually logs.
“We’re going to miss the things that he does and his patience with the puck,” said Jets captain Andrew Ladd. “Not only in the offensive zone, but the defensive zone, making plays to help us get out.”
The Jets were missing four of their top seven defencemen on Thursday against the Islanders and that number expanded to five after Randy Jones left with a lower-body injury after blocking a shot early in the third period.
“Everything was fine from an X-ray point of things, he’s just banged up,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel, whose squad earned a 3-0 victory to improve to 5-6-1. “Jones took a heck of a shot to the foot and I’m not sure what his status will be.”
Mark Flood and Brett Festerling were inserted and fit right in, taking a regular shift and finishing with 13:41 and 19:05 respectively.
Dustin Byfuglien led the Jets with 23:40, Zach Bogosian played 22:54, Johnny Oduya 22:07 and Jones 18:55 before he left because of injury.
“We battled through it and did pretty much what we could,” said Oduya, who scored an insurance goal at 16:04 of the third period. “With the help of (Pavelec), it worked out.”
Mark Stuart (upper-body) sat out Thursday and is day-to-day, Ron Hainsey (upper-body) is progressing nicely and could return before the end of the road trip and Derek Meech (lower-body) won’t be ready until after the Jets return home.
Speaking of injuries, Jets centre Nik Antropov blocked a shot with his right arm in the waning seconds of the second period and sat out the first half of the third period before coming back to finish the contest.
“I thought he showed tremendous courage in battling with us,” said Noel. “It was really good. He took faceoffs, his play in the neutral zone was really good. He turned out to be a dependable, defensive guy when we needed him to be. Even when he had a little trouble gripping the stick.”
The Jets did a great job of throwing themselves in front of pucks all night long, a prime example being the shot centre Jim Slater took in the chest during a second period penalty kill.
“Those were some heavy shots coming our way,” said Noel. “Those are the sacrifices our team needs to (make) to win games. We did a real good job in that area.”
Prior to the game, the Jets placed goalie Chris Mason on injured reserve, retroactive to Oct. 27.