Julien Brouillette

Get a load of the expected Winnipeg defense tonight against San Jose

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From TSN’s Sara Orlesky:

That’s what the Winnipeg Jets are left with for their home game tonight versus San Jose. This after another defenseman, Grant Clitsome, was lost to injury.

Ben Chiarot has played just 15 games in the NHL.

Though that’s more than Julien Brouillette, who’s played just 10.

The Jets, of course, were already without four of their best d-men in Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba. Not to mention the injury to forward Evander Kane, who’s expected to be out until next month.

Yet even with all those key players missing, Winnipeg still managed to dominate Toronto on Saturday, beating the Leafs 5-1 thanks in large part to a dominant performance by Dustin Byfuglien, who’s been forced to move back to the blue line as the injuries have piled up.

How good was Big Buff on Saturday? Even the Leafs were praising him after the game.

Not ‘the news we needed to hear’ — can the Jets survive their decimated blue line?

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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:

source:

Jets lose yet another d-man, rule Stuart out ’til February

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If this keeps up, Winnipeg’s going to run out of defensemen.

On Thursday, the club announced that veteran rearguard Mark Stuart would be out of the lineup ’til February with a lower-body injury, making him the fourth defenseman the club has lost for a significant length of time.

Jacob Trouba is out ’til February as well with an upper-body injury, while Tobias Enstrom (lower body) and Zach Bogosian (lower-body) aren’t expected back until early- to mid-January.

Stuart, 30, had appeared in all 32 games this year prior to getting hurt, scoring nine points while averaging just under 20 minutes a night. The TOI factor is key; with Stuart out, the Jets are now down their four biggest minutes leaders (Enstrom was above 25 per game at the time of his injury, while Trouba and Bogosian averaged 23:34 and 22:47 respectively.)

At this point, it’s fairly obvious that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to explore a trade. The Jets are heading into Friday’s game against Boston with a projected top-six defense of Dustin Byfuglien, Adam Pardy, Paul Postma, Ben Chiarot, Grant Clitsome and (we assume) the soon-to-be-recalled Julien Brouillette, who was brought up earlier in December but has yet to appear in a game.

Capitals recall pair of defensemen from minors

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The Washington Capitals have had issues on the blue line all season and things aren’t getting any clearer now.

The team recalled defensemen Julien Brouillette and Patrick Wey from Hershey in the American Hockey League in time to face the Winnipeg Jets at Verizon Center tonight.

Wey has played in one game for the Caps this season and played 14:36 while getting one shot on goal. He has one goal and two assists for Hershey this season and started the year in the ECHL with the Reading Royals. He was a fourth-round pick out of Boston College back in 2009.

Brouillette has yet to play in the NHL but that could change tonight. He has nine goals in Hershey this season, good for the team lead amongst defensemen.

With two blue liners being called up, the question is: Who else could be out? Mike Green is dealing with a concussion and Jack Hillen has already been out for weeks with a broken leg. It’s not getting any easier for coach Adam Oates.