Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice confirmed today that defenseman Dmitry Kulikov is having surgery on his back. The estimated return time for the Dmitry Kulikov injury is eight weeks. The injury occurred while playing against the New Jersey Devils.
— Jamie Thomas (@JamieThomasTV) March 17, 2018
Dmitry Kulikov Injury Is A Long One
The Dmitry Kulikov injury happened on March 8th against the New Jersey Devils. He has missed four games since that time, three of which the Jets have lost.
So far this season Kulikov has scored three goals and added eight assists for 11 total points in 62 games played. He also added 22 minutes in penalties during that time. Kulikov’s possession numbers are average as he holds a 50.25CF%. However, that ranks 7th among Jets defense, a strong possession team and he has a -1.13CFRel%.
Over his nine-year NHL career, Kulikov has played for the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, and Jets. He has put up 33 goals and 121 assists for 154 career points in 569 career games. He was originally drafted in the first round, 14th overall of the 2009 NHL draft by the Panthers.
Winnipeg Jets Playoff Race
Losing Dmitry Kulikov is a bit of a blow to the Jets, who currently sit second in the Central Division with 94 points. Kulikov was a third pairing defenceman more than anything and the Jets can replace him. Still, everybody will be needed for the playoffs. The Jets are 10 points behind the Nashville Predators for first, and seven points ahead of the Minnesota Wild who sits in third.
The Jets spot looks pretty secure, however, with 11 games remaining anything can happen. They are expected to see their first playoffs since 2015 and second since returning to Winnipeg. In 2015 they were swept by the Anaheim Ducks, and have yet to get a single playoff win since returning to Winnipeg.
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