There will never be any definite thing coming from Paul Maurice's mouth when it comes to issues of the severity of the damage Dustin Byfuglien suffered.
It was standard fare from Winnipeg Jets main coach, but that was the way he delivered the news, suggesting that the great defender could miss out on action a little longer.
"I have something for you (Sunday)," said Maurice, who was quick and to the point.
In similar situations, Maurice has routinely offered "we think he's going to be fine" or something like that.
Whether it's just a game or two or a little longer term, it's still to be seen.
It was clear that it did not look good – in real time or in favor of replay.
Byglylien has an incredibly high pain tolerance, so when he almost stopped playing while trying to get in front of the net, you knew it was probably serious.
The game itself was pretty harmless.
The village bird was first to the puck in the corner and the right skate of Wild forward Luke Kunin connected to the by-bird's left skate when he came in and tried to bump Jets defenseman off the puck and caused a serious burden on the Byglyl's ankle.
It looked like a simple example of random contact, but the immediate response of the Byglyl was to lift his left leg and try to stretch it out.
He had trouble putting any weight on it and slipping forward to the front of the net where he was hunched over.
When the game was stopped, Byfuglien eventually made its way to the bench and had to be helped down by the tunnel before being further investigated.
"Of course he's a tough guy, so when you see it happening, it's not good, but hopefully it'll be fine," Jets told Mathieu Perreault. "I'm not sure what's going on, but we hope for the best."
That's all Jets can do at this time, hoping for a positive result from X-ray or MRI.
Yes, they have played without the Byguglien for stretches before – including two games with an upper body injury in October and four more at the end of November and early December with concussion – but right now his value to the hockey club is probably at all – times high.
"It's of course hard to lose (Byguglien) at any time," said Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey. "He has an incredible season; he can play the best hockey he ever has for us and in the NHL. Hard to see him go down, especially of course when we try to make a comeback in the game. We could certainly have used him out there "It's not a good sight to see."
In a game where the jets had serious problems finding their skating, Byfuglien took a help on a power-play marker from Patrik Laine who pulled his team within a goal.
Just over two minutes later, he needed help from getting out of the ice and down the tunnel.
Almost as fast as the jets got a lift, the air was quickly knocked out of the balloon with the Byguglien's injury – though Maurice did not necessarily agree with the premise.
"Other than what Dustin is capable of doing, I don't think there was an emotional matter," Maurice said. "We've gotten players hurt before. It wouldn't be a story to me from the game."
Jets captain Blake Wheeler shared a similar mood.
"We are down to a goal and of course (Byguglien is) a large part of our team and much of what we can do is attacking offensive, so we certainly miss him," Wheeler said. "But we had to turn it around without him before and do a decent job with it. So there is no excuse there."
Injuries are part of the game and the jets have been relatively healthy late.
Losing Byguglien for a long time would be an obvious blow – although it could also open the door to another audition for top defense Sami Niku.
Just last month, Niku entered five games, including one that saw him playing with Jacob Trouba and signing 19:11 of the Ice Age.
Opportunities pave at different points and times, and with Joe Morrow sitting like a healthy scratch in seven consecutive games and eight more under injury, Niku can be thrown straight into the mix against the Edmonton Oilers on December 31.
Otherwise, Morrow will succeed in his first NHL action since November 27.
In some way, the jets will lean on guys like Morrissey, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot to take on more responsibility – just as they did in early December, when the jets went deep into the depth chart.
"We are never too worried about who we should play with. We often jump around mating," Myers said. "It doesn't matter who's coming or going out, we all want us to be sure who we are playing with out there."
Could Lemieux see AHL action?
It's a relatively slow stretch in the plan for Winnipeg Jets, which means it can be a perfect time for Brendan Lemieux to have some playing time in the yard.
With Manitoba Moose set for a two-match against Colorado Eagles on Sunday and Monday, a quick trip to the American Hockey League can be on the agenda for Lemieux – there has been a healthy scratch in the last two games.
Jets on Monday against the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, and when Mason Appleton has moved ahead of Lemieux and Nic Petan on the chart, at least for the moment, a quick AHL stint would probably serve Lemieux well.
Lemieux, who has a goal, two points and 34 penalty ministers in 22 games with Jets this season, would be able to deliver a lift to a Moose club fighting for a number of injuries.
It would also give Lemieux the opportunity to get into some game actions and be used in situations that extend beyond 6:21 by the Ice Age, as he has been on average so far this season.