On Saturday night, the Winnipeg Jets were dealt a potentially huge loss in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers.
All-Star defenceman and Norris Trophy candidate Josh Morrissey sustained a lower-body injury.
Morrissey left for the locker room in the second period; he returned in the third period but took only one shift and then did not return.
Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness told reporters in Florida after the game that both Josh Morrissey and Adam Lowry are “highly doubtful” to play Sunday night in Tampa Bay. Both need further evaluation.
The 27-year-old defenceman has been one of the Jets’ best players and is having a career year with 67 points (15G, 52A) through 66 games, and his absence will be a massive blow to a team who has just two wins in their last nine games and is trying to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Look for Dylan Samberg or Kyle Capobianco to re-enter Winnipeg’s lineup versus Tampa Bay on Sunday. Neal Pionk or Nate Schmidt would likely replace Morrissey on the Jet’s top powerplay unit. Depending on the extent of Morrissey’s injury, Winnipeg could call up Ville Heinola from their American Hockey League affiliate Manitoba Moose.
Winnipeg plays five games in eight days, starting Sunday against Tampa Bay. Already without two top-6 forwards, Cole Perfetti and Pierre-Luc Dubois, add third-line center Adam Lowry to the injured list. The Jets can’t afford to lose their top defenceman long-term.
Sunday, March 12, 2023 (4 pm CST): Morrissey is out Sunday night versus Tampa Bay; he is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He might be available to return Tuesday night versus Carolina.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 (11:30 am CST): Morrissey (lower-body) is a game-time decision against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Thursday, March 16, 2023 (11:45 am CST): Morrissey will return to the Jets lineup Thursday night against the Boston Bruins after missing two games with a lower-body injury.