The playoffs are not exactly a pipe dream in Winnipeg these days, but it won't come without its enormous challenges and I'm not speaking to the schedule itself. No, injuries are now working their way into the equation and one is quite significant.
It was posted earlier that Dustin Byfuglien left a game in the mid-week with an upper-body injury, likely to his right arm/shoulder and the club has confirmed on Friday, that they expect him to miss the next 2-to-4 weeks with the injury. There were no specifics on what the injury is, but they have at least given us a timetable to work with.
Also in the announcement, forward Bryan Little is also dealing with an undisclosed injury, but he will be traveling with the team, as they embark on a key 4-game road trip, which starts Saturday night in Nashville. Little isn't expected to play in the first two games and his status will remain questionable for the other two games.
The biggest hit, obviously gets Tony's team, as he loses a big piece of his team in Byfuglien for the time being and his team is already riddled with injury, it's insane. Now that you take out Byfuglien's 42 points in 65 games, there isn't a great deal of offense left on his team to help him out of the hole it has dug, rather, it has just given it more motivation to dig deeper.
Tony's team currently sits in 15th place and has a 10-point gap on 16th place and then a 21-point gap to 17th, but with all the bodies he's without now, those gaps don't look so big. We'll see what kind of impact it truly has soon.
As for Little, his injury situation may not be quite as dire, but the impact could possibly felt on Cam's team, as he tries to reel in 3rd and 4th place from the 5th position. Little has had 51 points in 65 games to this point and has been pretty consistent with his production all year.
Cam is only 6 points back of 4th and now 24 points back of 3rd, but this injury could have a short-term affect on his side. He has to watch his back at this point too, as Brian is only 4 points back in 6th place, but his team has also just suffered an injury, so the whole injury scene seems to be evening out a bit.
An updated list of injuries can be found here.