Winnipeg Jets starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is out until at least December with a knee sprain. He was placed on IR on Monday after suffering the injury in a game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Pavelec collided with Coyotes forward Shane Doan, who was pushed by the Jets defenseman Mark Stuart.
“The window of recovery is harder to pin down on goaltenders than it is on skaters,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice told reporters. “Our best information is that it is going to January or February [before he returns]. It’s a wider window because it’s a goaltender. He is not getting back in an NHL net until he is 100 percent.”
Pavelec is 5-6-1 with a save percentage .906 this season. Michael Hutchinson assumes the role of No. 1 netminder in his absence.
“Nothing really changes in my preparation,” Hutchinson said. “My lone goal coming into every game is to help the team win when I get a chance. That’s the only thing I’m going to try to do right now.”
Although Hutchinson played well for the Jets last season, the team will miss Pavelec.
“It hurts,” leading Jets scorer Blake Wheeler said. “[Pavelec] has really played well for us. He came in at the end of last season, and pretty much carried us into the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs, so I think that restored his confidence.
“It’s tough losing Pavelec, but we’re confident in the two guys we’ve got back there.”