Veteran center Eric Fehr won’t be on the ice for the Wild’s return home Thursday against the Jets, and he may not be available until after the All-Star break and ensuing bye week.
After smacking his head on the top of the boards in front of the Wild’s bench Monday in the 1-0 win over the Canadiens following a late shoulder check from Montreal's Kenny Agostino, Fehr will be sidelined one-to-two weeks.
“He’s not doing great,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But I think it’s a body injury. I’m not even going to say lower or upper.”
Boudreau is hopeful Fehr will be able to skate during his absence, which is poised to put a strain on the Wild’s penalty kill since Fehr is a star of the unit. Take the 4-0 loss to the Bruins Tuesday at the conclusion of the Wild’s four-game road trip. Sans Fehr, Boston converted on both of its power plays.
“Granted, they were some funky goals,” Boudreau said. “But at the same time, he’s really good in that position. Takes a lot of pride in it. Even though he’s a fourth-line guy, he still has five goals and a big guy on the PK. So we miss him.”
The first game back after a lengthy trip can be challenging, as evidenced by the 5-2 loss to the Capitals the Wild suffered in November on the heels of a franchise-record seven straight road games.
But facing its division rival should help the team reset and refocus.
“We know these games are always hard and emotional, and we have a really good rivalry against this team and they’re one of the best teams in the league,” said goalie Devan Dubnyk, who’s coming off a 32-save shutout vs. Montreal. “So we seem to be able to show up when that’s the case, and I think we want to come back after a tough one in Boston. It was a difficult situation to be in. No one’s going to sit here and make up excuses. But I think we want to get back to what we were doing before that, and this is a great opportunity to do that.”
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Jordan Greenway-Eric Staal-Nino Niederreiter
Zach Parise-Charlie Coyle-Luke Kunin
Matt Hendricks-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Greg Pateryn
Nick Seeler-Nate Prosser
87.9: Percent efficiency on the penalty kill at home for the Wild.
21: Points at Xcel Energy Center for winger Mikael Granlund.
.937: Save percentage for Dubnyk in his last five games.
4: Power-play goals for the Jets in their last two games.
9-5: Winnipeg’s record vs. the Central Division.
About the Jets:
Winnipeg continues to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, sitting second in the Central Division with 56 points. The Jets have won three of their last four and have scored at least five times in back-to-back games. They’ve also nabbed eight of their last 10 road games. Captain Blake Wheeler leads Winnipeg in points with 55, while winger Patrik Laine paces the pack in goals (24). Center Mark Scheifele has 23 goals and 53 points.