Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine have not been ruled out for the Winnipeg Jets when they play the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS).
“We didn’t skate the bulk of our group today, since the guys played in a back-to-back (Game 2 on Monday and Game 3 on Tuesday),” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said Wednesday. “We’ll get them on the ice tomorrow morning and have a better idea.”
Scheifele sustained a lower-body injury during a play along the boards 5:39 into the first period of a 4-1 loss in Game 1 on Aug. 1. He dumped the puck behind the net and was injured attempting to avoid a hit by Matthew Tkachuk in the Flames zone.
Laine left at 5:44 of the third period of Game 1 with an apparent upper-body injury after an exchange with Flames defenseman Mark Giordano.
Maurice didn’t rule out Mason Appleton, also injured in Game 1, but said none of the three forwards has skated since he was injured.
Scheifele was tied with forward Kyle Connor for the Jets lead with 73 points (29 goals, 44 assists) in 71 games this season. Laine was fourth with 63 points (28 goals, 35 assists) in 68 games.
As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.
“It’s all medical now,” Maurice said. “When we get a guy on the ice, he’s a lot closer to playing, but I won’t have that knowledge of the situation until tomorrow.”
The Flames lead the best-of-5 series 2-1 after a 6-2 win in Game 3 at Scotiabank Arena in Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city. Teams that win Game 3 after a series is tied 1-1 are 21-7 (75 percent) winning a best-of-5 NHL series (14-2 when last used from 1980-86).
“What you want to do in any elimination game is play without that fear, so you can mentally free yourself up,” Maurice said. “You almost play with — looseness isn’t the right word because you think of casualness — it’s playing without fear, and that can drive you. Sometimes the team whose back is against the wall has that extra bit of jump in its step. We needed the day off today, and we’ll be a much quicker team tomorrow.”
Winnipeg is the No. 9 seed in the West, and Calgary is the No. 8 seed. The series winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.