TAMPA, Fla. — The Winnipeg Jets are in Florida getting set to play the Florida Panthers tonight. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien didn’t show for practice yesterday, he was taking care of family business back home and is expected to join the team today. Meanwhile, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League named Reed Peters of the Winkler Flyers its Player of the Week and Jon Gaudet of the Dauphin Kings its Player of the Month for February. The MJHL playoffs start this week and in a real odd one, the Winkler Flyers, even though they had the same number of points, but fewer wins, beat out the Selkirk Steelers for the final playoff spot in the Addison Division. That’s weird.
Let’s start with the National Hockey League…
The 10-10-1 Winnipeg Jets are back out on the road and will play in Florida tonight, Tampa on Thursday night, Florida on Friday night and in New Jersey on Sunday. The Jets, in second place behind Carolina in the Southeast Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference, have been playing pretty well. They’ve won five of their last seven and will play again tonight in Sunrise, Fla., against the Florida Panthers at 6:30 on TSN Jets TV. NCI will be there live. Yesterday, Dustin Byfuglien missed practice in Sunrise, Fla. He was taking care of a family matter back home.
There were four games in the NHL yesterday and last night:
Toronto 4 New Jersey 2
The Leafs scored three unanswered in the third period to win it. Nazem Kadri led the way with a goal and an assist.
Pittsburgh 4 Tampa Bay 3
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had a goal and an assist for the Pens while Steven Stamkos scored twice for Tampa.
Phoenix 5 Anaheim 4 (SO)
Two nights ago, the Coyotes won 5-4 in a shootout in Anaheim. Last night, they won 5-4 in a shootout in Phoenix. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the shootout winner.
Los Angeles 5 Nashville 1
The Kings Jeff Carter had the hat-trick.
Besides the Jets in Florida, there are 10 other games in the NHL tonight: Tampa Bay is at New Jersey; Montreal plays at the Islanders; Boston is at Washington; Buffalo plays at Carolina; Edmonton is at Columbus at 6 p.m. on SportsNet West; Philadelphia is at the Rangers at 6:30 on TSN 2; Colorado is at Detroit; Minnesota is at Chicago; San Jose is at Vancouver on SportsNet Pacific; and St. Louis is at Los Angeles.
There were no games in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last night, but one game tonight: Swan Valley plays at Waywayseecappo in the final game of the regular season. Then the best-of-seven quarterfinals start: In the Sher-Wood, Wayway opens at Dauphin on Thursday night and Swan Valley opens at OCN on Friday night. In the Addison Division Portage opens in Steinbach and Winkler opens against the Blues, both series begin on Thursday night.
Yesterday, the MJHL named its players of the month for February: The player of the month is Jon Gaudet of the Dauphin Kings. Defensmean of the month is Tanner Butler of the Dauphin Kings. David Haaf of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines was a runner-up. Isaiah Plett of the Winnipeg Blues was goaltender of the month and Tristan Keck of the Winkler Flyers was rookie of the month. Goalie Brenden Fiebelkorn of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines was a runner-up.
Meanwhile, goalie Reed Peters of the Winkler Flyers was named the Recycle Everywhere MJHL player of the week. The runners up were goalie Corey Koop of the Steinbach Pistons and forward Guillaume Naud of the Dauphin Kings.
BRANDON WHEAT KINGS
The 22-38-4-3 Brandon What Kings will play again on Friday night against the Edmonton Oil Kings, 7:30 at Westman Place in Brandon.
MANITOBA TRIPLE A MIDGET LEAGUE
There were no games in the Manitoba Triple A Midget Hockey League playoffs last night and none until tomorrow night when the semifinals open with Pembina Valley at the Winnipeg Wild; and the Winnipeg Thrashers at Brandon.
MANITOBA MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
There were no games in the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League last night, but the final game of the regular season goes tonight with St. Vital at Charleswood.
KEYSTONE JUNIOR B HOCKEY
There were no games in the Keystone Jr. B Hockey League semifinals last night and no games again until Friday when both series return to action. Peguis leads St. Malo 1-0 while Arborg and Selkirk are all even at 1-1.