Paul Maurice: Matthew Tkachuk hit on Mark Scheifele ‘could have ended’ his career

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The potentially devastating hit on Mark Scheifele was either, “such an accident,” or “an absolutely filthy, disgusting hit,” depending upon whose version of the events you believe. One thing we do know is the Winnipeg Jets have almost no chance of advancing if both Scheifele and Patrik Laine are out long-term.

It’s pretty clear that without Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine in their lineup, the Winnipeg Jets have a far better chance of landing the first pick and Alexis Lafreniere in the draft than they do of winning their qualifying round series against the Calgary Flames. Should the Jets lose the series, their chances of winning the draft lottery are one-in-eight. Without two players who combined for 57 goals and 136 points, their chances of winning this series are about one-in-a million.

So you’re saying there’s a chance? Well, truth be told, if there’s a chance that superpest Matthew Tkachuk went into what looked like an innocuous collision with Scheifele in the first period of the Flames’ 4-1 win over Winnipeg with the intention of trying to slice the back of Scheifele’s leg open, then anything is possible. And after the game, Jets coach Paul Maurice made no effort to hide his feelings that that was exactly what Tkachuk did.

Maurice said both Scheifele and Patrik Laine, who left the game in the middle of the third period with a suspected wrist injury, will both be evaluated by medical specialists on Sunday.