UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 4, at 1:21 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Dustin Byfuglien is currently doubtful for tomorrow's game, according to Winnipeg Free Press' Ed Tait.
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TSN's Sara Orlesky first broke the news on Twitter:
Dustin Byfuglien will not play tonight #nhl z#nhljets— Sara Orlesky (@saraorlesky) February 1, 2013
According to Yahoo! by way of RotoWire.com, head coach Claude Noel wouldn't really specify what sort of injury Byfuglien had:
Coach Claude Noel would offer no clarity on the injury other than Byfuglien "aggravated something," so consider him day-to-day as we await further word on the extent of the ailment. Byfuglien's seven points on the season are tied for fourth in the NHL among defensemen this season.
Byfuglien is an extremely versatile player, having played right wing earlier in his career with the Chicago Blackhawks before settling back to his typical position of defense with the Jets.
The 27-year-old's injury isn't disclosed as of now, but his 6'5", 265-pound presence is irreplaceable on the ice. Not only is he able to stonewall many shot attempts and opposing attacks towards the Jets' net, he is also a heavy contributor on offense.
Through six games in this young, lockout-shortened season, Byfuglien has already put up three goals and four assists.
Tampa ranks first in the NHL, scoring just under five goals per game thus far. The Lightning are currently undefeated in the friendly confines of the Tampa Bay Times Forum as well. They pack plenty of firepower on offense, led by veterans Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and the prodigious 2008 No.1 overall pick, Steven Stamkos.
Considering that Byfuglien is not only the team's best defender but is also tied for the Jets' lead in goals scored, his absence is going to be especially difficult to overcome.