Defenseman Tobias Enstrom appears ready to return to the Winnipeg Jets lineup , which is good news for a team in the midst of a playoff race but coming off back-to-back forgettable performances this week.
The 28-year-old Enstrom was second among NHL defensemen in scoring with 13 points in 13 games when he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury in February. He’s missed the last 19 games, but, according to reports out of Winnipeg, could return Sunday when the Jets host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Toby looks like he might be able to turn that corner,” Jets head coach Claude Noel told the Winnipeg Sun Saturday. “So we’ll see if we can get him in there.”
Enstrom’s offensive capabilities from the back end should benefit the Jets, particularly with their struggling power play. Winnipeg is 27th in the entire league on the man-advantage, operating at 13.7 per cent.
The Jets are also coming off a difficult two-day stretch in which they dropped both games on home ice to the Washington Capitals, and not in close fashion, either. The Jets lost by scores of 4-0 and 6-1, prompting the fans in Winnipeg to boo their home team.
“The best thing we can do is not get negative and not start pointing fingers and trying to find problems,” forward Bryan Little told the Winnipeg Free Press.
“The best thing to do is put it behind us and try and focus on winning tomorrow. It affects you as much as you want it to. Obviously it’s frustrating losing two games where we had a chance to get some ground and get four points, but there’s nothing we can do now. There’s no sense moping around about it.”
The Jets are currently in a battle for the Southeast Division.
They remain the top seed in the division, two points up on the Carolina Hurricanes and five up on the Washington Capitals.