Scheifele out, morrissey, Vilardi game-time decisions
The Winnipeg Jets will once again be without star centreman Mark Scheifele as they take to the ice against Auston Matthews and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Despite skating in a regular contact sweater for the third-straight practice, the team's No. 1 centre will be M.I.A. come Saturday evening. Head coach Rick Bowness confirmed the news following Friday's practice from Canada Life Centre.
“He just felt it was bothering him. Still a little bit there. It needs a little more time,” coach Bowness said.
“Did he make it worse in practice? No. But it’s still there. We’ve got a break coming up. Give him that extra time. If he needs it, he needs it.”
Of course, the Jets hit their bye week following Saturday's game, and only return to action on February 6, meaning Scheifele will have an extra week of time to heal after initially going down on December 27th in Chicago.
Also skating in regular sweaters for Winnipeg was forward Gabe Vilardi - who has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury - and defenceman Josh Morrissey, who left Wednesday's game after blocking a shot in the midsection.
“Just kind of tweaked something and gotta take care of those types of things,” Vilardi said after the skate. “You don't want a week-long thing to be a month-long thing or rest of the season kind of thing. It’s just be a little smarter about that I think.”
Morrissey, who was hit with the puck in a soft spot is recovering, and much like Vilardi is considered a game-time decision on Saturday.
“Obviously, it’s an uncomfortable place to get hit for a guy," Morrissey laughed. "At the end of the day, the medical team does a great job. Thankfully I got all cleared and am feeling great and ready to roll.”
Puck drop is set for 6:00 PM central on Saturday. That game can be viewed live on Sportsnet.