July 18th, 2024

Jets forward Kyle Connor returns to Winnipeg to have knee examined

By The Canadian Press on December 12, 2023.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Jets leading scorer Kyle Connor missed Tuesday’s game at San Jose with a knee injury, returning to Winnipeg to be reevaluated by team doctors two days after getting hurt in a win against Anaheim.

Connor will also miss Wednesday night’s game at Los Angeles, Jets coach Rick Bowness said.

Connor was injured during the second period of Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Ducks when he took a knee from Anaheim defenseman Ryan Strome, who received a game misconduct on the play, but avoided a suspension.

After the game, Bowness said the correct call was made against Strome.

“It’s knee on knee. (Strome) sticks his knee out there and hopefully that’s suspendable,” Bowness said Sunday. “Knee on knee, there is no other way to look at that. The referees made the correct call: five-minute major, a game misconduct and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

On Tuesday, Bowness stood by his original opinion.

“I respectfully disagree with the league,” Bowness said. “I still think it’s a suspendable offense. I felt it then, I’ve looked at it a number of times, and I still feel that way.”

Connor underwent an MRI on Monday. Bowness couldn’t provide a timetable for Connor’s return.

“Not until we hear from our doctors,” the coach said.

Connor ranks fourth in the NHL with 17 goals in 26 games this season. He recorded a career-high 47 goals and 93 points in 2021-22.

He’s a player, an elite goal scorer,” Bowness said. “You don’t replace Kyle Connor, and to think someone else is going to step in there and do that, that’s just completely unrealistic. But what is within our control is for each and every player to make sure that they are at their best every shift, every period, and every game, and we’ll go from there.”

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