The Winnipeg Jets are getting hit hard with the COVID absences. Mark Scheifele is the latest player to be added to the list and he won’t be in the lineup Thursday night for the Jets’ home opener. The good news is the widespread issue that was feared to be circulating through the Jets’ roster isn’t as bad as initially thought. The bad news is that Scheifele joins captain Blake Wheeler and neither will be available as the Jets take on the Anaheim Ducks.
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Scheifele missed the first game of the season due to a suspension that was carried over from the playoff last year. He’s not had the greatest start to his 2021-22 campaign, although he did post two assists in the game against Minnesota on Tuesday. This is a big blow for the Jets who are 0-2-1 to start the year.
“We never had to deal with this last year, so it’s kind of a definitely weird scenario to go through,” said Scheifele after the Wheeler news was announced Tuesday. He added, “It obviously sucks for him. You hope he’s feeling fine and he comes back feeling good. Obviously, the virus is still around.” It was just a few hours later that an asymptomatic Scheifele was tested and found to be positive.
The Jets will need players to step up in the absence of Wheeler and Scheifele. Looks for names like Pierre Luc-Dubois or Nikolaj Ehlers to get more ice time, especially on the power play.
Out of caution and dur to the increased concern over COVID-19 cases, the Winnipeg Jets have decided to temporarily hold all media availabilities via Zoom starting today. The team’s media centre is closed “until further notice.”
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