Even though the Winnipeg Jets fought back from a 3-1 deficit, to emerge with a 4-3 shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night, the lasting image of the game will be rookie defenceman Jacob Trouba being stretchered off the ice after a terrible fall.
The play happened in the second period, as Trouba went in on the forecheck behind the St. Louis net. Blues defenceman Jordan Leopold played the puck into the corner just as Trouba came charging in. Trouba lost his balance as he attempted to hit Leopold and fell face first into the boards. The 19-year-old University of Michigan product, lay motionless on the ice for several minutes, while the Jets medical staff attended to the rookie blue liner. The normally raucous crowd inside the MTS Centre was hushed as they saw the future of the franchise lying on the ice, with nary a tremor. Players from both teams were very concerned about the fate of the young star from Rochester, Michigan.
When the paramedics finally placed Trouba on a stretcher, the crowd rose to their feet, giving Trouba a standing ovation. Trouba regained consciousness and despite being strapped down on a stretcher, waved to the crowd acknowledging the support. News started to trickle in as Trouba was sent to hospital for further evaluation. Hopes were raised as Trouba had movement in all extremities and was fully aware of where he was. As the Jets completed their comeback, Trouba was staging his own resurrection as he was released from the hospital and could spend the night in his own bed.
Trouba held court with the Winnipeg media on Saturday, wearing a neck brace. Diagnosed with sprained neck ligaments, Trouba will need to be in a brace for a couple of weeks, before an MRI will determine when he can come back.
The Jets had no choice but to place Trouba on injured reserve as he recovers from this setback. While sprained neck ligaments are no fun, it could have been so much worse for Trouba. Fortunately, the neck was not broken, and Trouba was able to walk out of the hospital on his own. Trouba even showed his sense of humour by tweeting out this message.
The short term loss of Trouba will hurt the Jets, but it is only a speed bump in his career. Better to not have him for a few weeks, than lose an entire career. We all wish a speedy recovery to Jacob Trouba as he slowly but surely will be back on the ice soon.
News & Notes:
Trouba wasn’t the only Jets defenceman that was wounded last night. Veteran blue liner Mark Stuart crashed into the goalpost, trying to break up a tw0-on-one opportunity late in the third period. The former Boston Bruin left the game with an apparent rib injury and is listed as day-to-day. The Jets recalled veteran defenceman Adam Pardy from St. John’s of the AHL to fill in for now. Expect Pardy to see his first action as a Jet on Sunday against Nashville.
Devin Setoguchi and Eric Tangradi were healthy scratches last night. The move caught some people off guard, as coach Claude Noel tried to send a message to his players. Setoguchi does have two goals, but they both came in one game, the home opener against Los Angeles. Tangradi’s absence was a surprise as he has shown effort and a willingness to do the dirty work for the Jets. It is unknown whether one or both will be in the lineup for Sunday’s game.
I’ve been harsh on Olli Jokinen on this site, but give credit where credit is due. The Finnish forward had an excellent game against the Blues on Friday night, scoring a goal in regulation, and the winner in the shootout. Jokinen was engaged throughout the game, playing alongside tough guy Anthony Peluso and recent call-up Patrice Cormier. It seems that Jokinen is better off on the third line, where the pressure isn’t as heightened, compared to being in a top-six role.
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