tobias enstrom

Jets’ Enstrom gets bad injury update

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The fight to see a playoffs game in Winnipeg for the first time since 1996 just got harder.

28-year-old defenseman Tobias Enstrom hasn’t played since Tuesday due to a mid-body injury that’s believed to be related to his back. He was initially classified as day-to-day, but now it’s being described as a week-to-week issue, according to the Winnipeg Sun.

Given that the Jets only have about a week and a half until their last game, it’s safe to say that Enstrom might not be back until the postseason. Assuming of course that the Jets can even find a way to secure a playoff spot.

“You’ve got your guys and I don’t deal with what I don’t have, you know that,” said Jets coach Claude Noel. “We’ve got a lot of options, a fair amount of guys, 10 defensemen and 11 with Toby.”

Fair enough, but Enstrom isn’t just any defenseman. He’s reached the 50-point mark in separate campaigns and has a career average of 23:29 minutes per contest.

At the same time, he’s had trouble staying healthy over the last couple of seasons. He suffered a broken collar bone in 2011-12 and missed time earlier this season with a shoulder injury.

Winnipeg has just six games left in its schedule and is two points behind the eighth place New York Rangers. To make matters worse, the Rangers have played in one less contest.

The Jets next two games will be at home against teams that no longer have a realistic shot of making the playoffs: the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes. Anything short of winning both of those matches would be a big blow to the Jets’ chances of advancing to the postseason.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)