WINNIPEG - A quartet of Jets are day-to-day before their big game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
Defencemen Dustin Byfuglien (leg) and Ron Hainsey (ankle), along with centre Nik Antropov (foot) and right winger Eric Fehr (shoulder), are all questionable for Tuesday’s tilt against the Wild.
Byfuglien and Antropov didn’t practise on Monday at MTS Centre, but Hainsey and Fehr did. So did defenceman Tobias Enstrom, who was allowed to practise with contact for the first time since breaking his collarbone on Halloween, but head coach Claude Noel said Enstrom will not play against the Wild.
Byfuglien appeared to injure his left leg against Detroit on Saturday night, but he finished the game. Antropov played against the Red Wings after missing four games but wasn’t very noticeable. Then again, not many Jets were during the 7-1 loss.
Fehr has missed the last five games. He sat out the first 19 matches of the season after shoulder surgery in May, played in five, and then went back on the shelf. Hainsey, meanwhile, has also played in only five games this season due to a variety of ailments, the latest being an open wound on his ankle after blocking a shot on Nov. 23.
Enstrom is eager to get back in the lineup, but it doesn’t sound like that will happen for a while.
“I miss the game, and I want to come back as soon as possible, but it’s not really my decision if I’m going to play or not,” he said. “I’m not going to take any chances.”
Captain Andrew Ladd celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday, and a couple of his teammates tried to give him a “present.”
Ladd was being interviewed when Byfuglien walked into the dressing room carrying a cake with a lit candle on it. The sea of reporters parted to let Byfuglien through when Antropov came up from behind and tried to nail Ladd in the face with a shaving cream pie.
The captain, however, sensed something was happening, because he ducked just in time and Antropov missed his target.
“I’ve never seen Buff bring me a cake,” Ladd said, “so I knew there was something more to it than that.”
ROARING GOOD TIME
Ladd and about 10 of his teammates hit the ice at the Granite on Sunday for a game of curling. It was the brainchild of Ladd’s wife, Brandy.
“We were looking for something different to do, and that was the idea,” Ladd said. “It was good. It was tough. It was a little harder than most guys thought, but it was fun to get on the ice sheet in a little different format.”
According to the captain, goaltender Chris Mason would be the skip if the Jets ever entered a team in the Safeway Championship playdowns.
“Mase was actually really good,” Ladd said. “I’ll give him some credit, but I think he’s done it before.”
AROUND THE GLASS
Ladd believes the team’s dominance at home and troubles on the road lately are coincidental.
“We started to play a lot better hockey here in this home stretch, so I don’t think it was the road,” he said. “It was at the start of the season (when they had a lot of road games) we weren’t playing the way we needed to play.” … According to the StarTribune, the Wild brought all three of their goalies — Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Matt Hackett — to Winnipeg … The lone Manitoban on the Wild roster, defenceman Justin Falk of Snowflake, won’t play on Tuesday because of back spasms.