Big Buff Says He’s Ready To Go

Jeremy Wiebe February 11, 2013 1
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien participated in an optional skate on Sunday, and proclaimed himself ready to go for Tuesday’s clash with the Philadelphia Flyers. The big blueliner has been nursing a mysterious lower body injury, that has kept him out of the lineup since January 31. Before his injury, Big Buff was leading the Jets with 3 goals and 4 assists in 6 games.

The Jets dearly missed Byfuglien, especially on the power play, where his booming shot caused goaltenders to tremble in fear. Without Byfuglien in the lineup, the Jets powerplay has been as fearsome as a lost kitten, going 3 for 17 with the man advantage without Big Buff.

Byfuglien participated in full practice on Monday, and once again declared himself ready to go. Coach Claude Noel is pleased with Byfuglien’s progress, but isn’t 100% certain that Byfuglien will be in the lineup.

Also in practice today was Zach Bogosian. The defenceman hasn’t seen any game action this year, as he is recovering from offseason wrist surgery. While Noel thinks Bogosian could see game action this week, it is doubtful he’ll suit up on Tuesday night. The more likely scenario is that Bogosian will play either Friday night against Pittsburgh, or Sunday against Boston.

Finally, Noel has another decision to make, this time between the pipes. Ondrej Pavelec is still battling flu-like symptoms, which makes him questionable for Tuesday’s game. The decision isn’t easy as Al Montoya earned a shutout victory on Saturday, after his solid 33 save performance. If Pavelec is still under the weather, then Montoya will get the call. If Pavelec gets healthy in a hurry, then Noel is presented with a pleasant problem.

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