Byfuglien back on blue line; Laine, Ehlers game for caustic Canucks

Veteran defenceman Dustin Byfuglien will return to the Winnipeg lineup when the Jets host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Bell MTS Place.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Jets head coach Dustin Byfuglien, who missed two games with an upper-body injury, will replace Dmitry Kulikov in the lineup and return to a pairing with Ben Chariot.

Byfuglien’s physical presence has been lacking but his teammates have also missed the emotional spark he brings to the club.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available

Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break – our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts

Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 – 6, $10.99/month for months 7 – 9, $13.99/month for months 10 – 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Veteran defenceman Dustin Byfuglien will return to the Winnipeg lineup when the Jets host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Bell MTS Place.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Jets head coach Dustin Byfuglien, who missed two games with an upper-body injury, will replace Dmitry Kulikov in the lineup and return to a pairing with Ben Chariot.

Byfuglien’s physical presence has been lacking but his teammates have also missed the emotional spark he brings to the club.

“He does a lot for everybody here,” said blue-liner Joe Morrow, Byfuglien’s frequent defence partner in the past. “Just playing with him or playing with him in the lineup as a whole — he’s got a really good presence to him. He brings the mood up for the back end. Obviously, the bench is kinda split half and half, so having him on the bench is always fun.

“You hear him yellin’ at guys and keeping the mood a little lighter in sticky situations, which calms guys down and is sometimes what you need in hockey sometimes when everything’s amplified.”

Byfuglien’s return to the power play will also be appreciated.

“Obviously a really good offensive presence and a really strong guy that when other guys are on the ice against him, they definitely keep their head up,” said Morrow. “It definitely changes the dynamic of the game.”

A TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT?

Vancouver’s arrival sparked more questions for Jets winger Patrik Laine, who gently mocked the Canucks earlier this month for banning video games on road trips, telling reporters: “They need something to blame after last year.”

Some Canucks took umbrage with Laine’s comments at the time but the 20-year-old Finn, an avid gamer himself, wasn’t worried about about any on-ice controversy tonight.

“Oh, if I’m being honest, I don’t really care,” said Laine. “It’s just something I said, it was meant as a joke, but I think somebody’s probably going to mention that, but I’m just going to say nothing and focus on playing hockey and focus on winning.”

Linemate and fellow gamer Nikolaj Ehlers expected a rude reception.

“I’d definitely chirp them back,” said Ehlers. “I mean, I think everybody took it a little hard but the people that know Patty know that he just says some weird stuff sometimes and doesn’t mean it as a chirp, he just makes a little fun. Hopefully we get some chirps out there. I’m fired up.”

NOTEWORTHY

Connor Hellebuyck is expected to get the start in net for the Jets while Winnipegger Brendan Leipsic, a left-winger on the Canucks, will be a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

Read full biography