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Western Conference

Dustin Byfuglien Leading Jets Towards Potential First West Final



The Winnipeg Jets are on the verge of their first berth in the Western Conference Final, and 6-foot-5, 260-pound Dustin Byfuglien is leafing the charge.

His play, which has included timely goals and tough defense, has been impressive as the Jets inch closer to history.

“He’s so loose before games,” Winnipeg center Bryan Little said, according to TSN. “He’s a joker, definitely the prankster on the team. It’s strange for me to see him talking to you guys in front of the camera. It’s like, ‘That’s not who I know.'”

Jets captain Blake Wheeler echoed those sentiments, adding that Byfuglien is a “great equalizer” and unlike anybody else in the NHL.

“Having him on our team gives us an advantage no matter who we play,” Wheeler said. “That’s the type of player he is and from Game 1 of the playoffs, he has just dominated. You can’t stop it.”

Byfuglien was the catalyst for the Jets’ rally in Game 3 in against the Nashville Predators, as Winnipeg stormed back from a 3-0 deficit with started with Byfuglien’s goal which put the Jets on the board, and he later scored to tie the game. Furthermore, Byfuglien would up scoring the game-winning goal during the Jets 6-2 win on Saturday night, which now has the Jets on the verge of clinching.

“What makes him unique is he can, I don’t know if ‘take over’ is right, but he can make an impact in a game in just about every single way possible,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said.

“He can defend, he can play real physical, nobody wants to drop the gloves with him, and then there’s an offensive side, it’s a perfectly placed shot, quick hands, all the other things that he can do offensively.”

“There’s only one Dustin Byfuglien, and you want him on your team,” Little said. “You can’t imagine what it would be like playing against him. There’s only one of him. You can’t really compare him to anyone out there.”

“Any time he’s on the ice, it’s dangerous,” Little said.

Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Place Ty Rattie On Injured Reserve



The Edmonton Oilers have placed veteran forward Ty Rattie on injured reserve after it was announced on Saturday that he would miss multiple games with a midsection muscle injury.

In a corresponding move, the Oilers have recalled Cooper Marody from the AHL.

Rattie was forced out of Thursday’s game against the Boston Bruins due the injury, and was unable to suit up for Saturday’s game against the Nashville PRedators.


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Calgary Flames

Flames’ Travis Hamonic Suffers Facial Fracture During Fight



Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic will be out of action for a bit after he suffered a facial fracture during a fight with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson on opening night, the team officially announced on Friday.

In a corresponding move, the Flames called up defenseman Rasmus Anderson from the AHL to fill the empty roster spot.

Hamonic and Gudbranson got into it only 4:22 into the first period.




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Sharks’ Erik Karlsson Feels Senators Would Have Traded Him Even If He Signed New Contract



San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson is still dealing with the recent trade that sent him from the Ottawa Senators to San Jose, and feels that even if he had accepted the Sens’ contract offer, they would have still traded him.

“I don’t think it ever got to the point where I had an option to sign anything,” Karlsson said, during an interview with Sportsnet’s Christine Simpson. “It never even got close to that, and even if I would have signed, they probably would have traded me anyways, and I would have been somewhere else.”

“They had me traded in February already at the (trade) deadline,” Karlsson continued. “We were told we were pretty much gone, and that was very tough to hear.”

Karlsson said that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion informed him that a trade was imminent just before the start of training camp.

“(He) called me in the morning and told me not to come into camp (on) the first day, and that’s when I probably realized that it was going to go down pretty quickly.”

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