It’s a situation so absurd that if feels like it couldn’t possibly happen to any other NHL club other than the @Winnipeg Jets.
Star forward @Patrik Laine, who (along with @Mark Scheifele) leads the Jets in scoring with 13 points and leads in assists with 10 (which in itself is something no one saw coming) was injured at practice on Monday in Anaheim when he “took a bump” from @Luca Sbisa.
Sbisa apparently hit Laine along the boards in the corner after which Laine slammed his stick against the boards in anger and skated off to the dressing room. The initial report from head coach Paul Maurice was that Laine was sore but there was nothing serious about the injury he suffered and that they would review the next day. The next day did in fact come and turns out he was listed as “doubtful” for the game mid-afternoon and was ruled out hours before the game.
The Jets – already with a thin lineup thanks to injuries to @Mason Appleton and @Mark Letestu as well as a two game suspension to @Adam Lowry – will dress Sbisa for tonight’s game even though Sbisa hasn’t played in an NHL game January 12, 2019, didn’t play in the AHL and has had a grand total of one NHL practice this season.
They could play @Ville Heinola, but the Jets don’t want to make a decision on him just yet and playing him tonight in what would be his ninth NHL game would rush that decision.
Plus, there isn’t an NHL veteran out there that Paul Maurice won’t play in a game over younger and better talent.
UPDATE: Before the game on Tuesday, the Jets insisted that it wasn’t Sbisa’s fault and that Laine was “already dealing with something” and the whole thing just happened to be one great big coincidence.
— Ted Wyman (@Ted_Wyman) October 30, 2019
If that doesn’t make you laugh, or cry, or make you just shake your head while letting out the longest most sports-frustration induced sigh you can come up with, then you may need to see a doctor.
- Anaheim Ducks sign Luca Sbisa with the intent of sending him down to their AHL club in San Diego. To do so, they need him to clear waivers.
- The Jets claim Sbisa from waivers. No one really knows why outside of Paul Maurice stating that they didn’t want to be “short handed” going out west the next week.
- No one expects Sbisa to see a second of ice-time with the Jets, barring a string of injuries and/or misfortune.
- @Mason Appleton hurts himself playing football because he’s a hockey player, not a cornerback.
- @Adam Lowry hits @Oliver Kylington with a stupidly unnecessary check from behind that ends up getting him suspended.
- Sbisa (who is supposedly someone that is good to have in team practices) in his very first practice with the Jets runs into one of the top forwards for the team and one of the few players actually producing consistent offense for the Jets.
- That player – Laine – skates off angry that he’s been hurt by someone who one week earlier wasn’t even on the team.
- (Let’s understand here that Sbisa clearly didn’t intend to hurt a star player and that the Jets insist Laine was already “dealing with something” unrelated to Sbisa’s hit.)
- The Jets are now really “short handed” and the first game of the road trip hasn’t even happened yet.
- Player who played all of nine NHL games last season – Sbisa – inserted into the lineup in place of Laine, but of course not really because Luca Sbisa in 11 NHL seasons has 18 goals to his credit while Patrik Laine usually hits that mark by December of each season he plays.
- Ville Heinola continues to sit in a press box.
We’re not even through the first month of the season…