The Winnipeg Jets are being cautious with forward Patrik Laine.
The forward won’t suit up for Monday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s listed day-to-day with an upper body injury and left the morning skate early. He also left practice early Sunday, leading to some significant speculation.
“There wasn’t anything in the game Thursday he was worried about,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. “He was aware of it, but it was minor. He came out Sunday but couldn’t warm it up. It couldn’t get to the point where he felt comfortable with it.”
Laine had two goals and an assist Thursday when Winnipeg defeated the Calgary Flames. After the opener, the Jets headed off to Toronto as part of a three-game road swing. They’ll play the Ottawa Senators Tuesday and Thursday.
The rest of the schedule rolls out in similarly busy fashion for the Jets, with a home game against the Senators Saturday before two games against Edmonton.
This looks to be one of the busiest stretches of the season for Winnipeg and the pandemic has made rest stints a little on the difficult side, but it’s clear the Jets are being careful with their player.
“We want to get him back in the lineup,” Maurice said. “You wish you had more time between games to let it heal. We don’t, but we won’t put him back in until he’s confident that he can be the player that he was (against Calgary).”
Jansen Harkins will suit up in Laine’s stead for now, giving fans a good look at the 23-year-old forward from Cleveland.
Winnipeg is also without defencemen Dylan DeMelo and Tucker Poolman, which means a reach into the taxi squad for Ville Heinola and forward Kristian Vesalainen for the road trip.