The Arizona Coyotes announced that their first-line defenceman Jason Demers was placed on injured reserve. He did not play along with his blueline partner Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
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The Coyotes managed a 3-0 victory without their two top D-men and it appears they will need to find a way to do the same against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Gila River Arena.
Jason Demers Injured, Placed on Injured-reserve
Jason Demers, 31 hails from Dorval, Quebec and was a seventh-round, 186th overall selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. This season he has not scored, and has nine assists. He has 23 minutes of penalties and possesses a +/- of +4. His Corsi For is 46.0 percent and he has a -0.8 Relative Corsi For.
Over his 11-year NHL career he has 45 goals, 163 assists for 208 points over 654 games. His career Corsi For is at 51.9 percent and his Relative Corsi For is 0.8. Known for his defence rather than scoring Demers is a physical player accumulating 784 career hits and 738 blocks. He missed a large portion of the 2018-19 season due to a knee injury requiring surgery.
What This Means Going Forward
Losing both Demers and Ekman-Larsson can be very debilitating for the Arizona Coyotes who are struggling to remain in playoff contention. They managed to still play a very sound defensive game against the Oilers and face another tough foe in Carolina. Being shorthanded on the blueline has forced the general manager John Chayka to call up two defenders from their AHL affiliate team in Tucson. They recalled Robbie Russo to fill in for the missing pieces on defence.
The 6’0″, 198-pound Russo has collected 29 goals, 127 assists and 217 penalty minutes in 311 career AHL games.
The Coyotes are in a tough fight to stay in the playoff picture residing in the first wild-card spot. There is just five points separating the top-five Pacific Division teams. Every game is valuable and even when you’re shorthanded points are significant at this time of the season.