That was Jets coach Paul Maurice, talking today about his team’s latest injury, this one to defenseman Mark Stuart.
“That clearly wasn’t the news we needed to hear,” said Maurice. “We don’t have a lot of defensemen to spare at this point.”
Before Stuart was ruled out until February, Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian and Jacob Trouba were already injured, meaning Winnipeg will be without all four of its top-four defensemen until the New Year.
“This is our adversity,” said Maurice. “This is what we have to deal with. Every team will have their stretch.”
But not every team will have an extended stretch without its top four defensemen. That’s extremely unlucky, especially for a team that’s been playing well, with legitimate hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since moving to Winnipeg in 2011.
So, what’s the plan, coach?
“We’ve got six guys that have played in the NHL; they’re going to dress tomorrow night [against the Bruins],” said Maurice.
Those six guys are Dustin Byfuglien, Adam Pardy, Paul Postma, Grant Clitsome, Ben Chiarot, and Julien Brouillette.
Chiarot and Brouillette have just 18 games of NHL experience combined.
Oh, and by the way, here’s what coming up for the Jets: