Jets forward Mathieu Perreault sounds off on NHL officiating

Mathieu Perreault believes that if the NHL won't protect him, he needs to take matters into his own hands.

On Tuesday, the Winnipeg forward took an elbow to the face from Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen during a Jets victory. Perreault said after the game, "My jaw is sore right now. ... I'll be struggling eating for the next couple of days, probably."

The expectation was that supplemental discipline would come Virtanen's way. But the Department of Player Safety opted not to suspend or fine him -- which was not fine with Perreault.

"I'm not surprised, to be honest. Player Safety? My ass," Perreault said after Jets practice on Thursday, via TSN 1290 Winnipeg. "This is literally an elbow to the face to a guy who didn't have the puck. I see him coming, I brace for the hit. It was a late hit, I didn't have the puck, and he flicks his elbow in the face."

The Jets forward said the next time something like this happens, he won't wait for the NHL to step in.

"They're not going to do anything about it. So I gotta take matters into my own hands. The next time this happens, I get to swing my stick across his forehead, and I shouldn't get suspended then," he said.

"I can't really protect myself there if the league's not going to protect me. I'm the smallest guy on the ice," said Perreault, who's listed at 5-foot-10. "I can't fight anybody, so the only thing I can do to defend myself is use my stick. So the next guy that does that to me is going to get my f---ing stick. And I better not get suspended for it."

The Jets and Canucks meet again on March 15.