Patrik Laine suffers injury blocking shot
Tuesday wasn’t kind to Patrik Laine. The Winnipeg Jets have to hope that it was bad merely from a short-term perspective.
One factor that’s probably important to Laine but not as much to the Jets: Alex Ovechkin pulled ahead in the Maurice Richard race, scoring his 44th goal of 2017-18. Laine remains stuck at 43, in part because the stupendous scorer couldn’t play much against the Los Angeles Kings.
Laine struggled to get off the ice after blocking a shot, as you can see from the video above this post’s headline. The 19-year-old won’t return. To little surprise, there’s no real update beyond that, as the Jets are merely leaving it as a “lower-body injury.”
Patrik Laine will not return to tonight’s game due to a lower body injury.— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) March 21, 2018
The Jets’ next game is against the Ducks on Friday. That gives Winnipeg some time to assess Laine’s injury. The Finnish finisher probably wants to play in as many of the Jets’ remaining nine regular-season games (after tonight) as he can, but the team has to value an elusive playoff run more than anything else.
This means that Laine’s 15-game point streak comes to an end. That would be noteworthy even out of context, but it’s especially relevant since it concludes the longest run for a teenager.
Here’s hoping that Laine can return swiftly and keep a great Richard going against Ovechkin and others.
Update: Some early optimism after the Jets managed a 2-1 overtime win against the Kings: