Blue Jackets Weekly Notebook: Injuries, Illnesses Costing Games

Blue Jackets Weekly Notebook: Injuries, Illnesses Costing Games

Barry Devoe
3 years ago
3 min read
Blue Jackets Weekly Notebook: Injuries, Illnesses Costing Games

After a week of back-to-back wins over the Colorado Avalanche, the Blue Jackets stumbled against the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. Can they bounce back Monday against the Detroit Red Wings? 

Here’s what you need to catch up on in the Blue Jackets Weekly Notebook. 

Injuries, Illnesses Costing Games

The Blue Jackets have already seen some of their top talents miss time with injuries and illnesses this season. Max Domi is nearing a return from COVID-19 protocol but hasn’t played since October 31. Adam Boqvist is expected to return to the lineup on Monday but has been out since October 23 with a lower-body injury.

Add in Dean Kukan’s fractured wrist and Patrik Laine’s oblique strain, along with the other bumps and bruises along the way, and the losses to Washington (4-3) and New York (5-3) could have been much worse. 

Alex Ovechkin made history against Columbus, scoring the 742nd goal of his career to pass Brett Hull for sole possession of fourth place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. 

“It means a lot,” Ovechkin said. “When you start playing hockey, and you came to the NHL, you never thought you’d be in that position with those names. It's a special moment for me, my parents, my brother, my wife, kids.”

In the Rangers game, the Blue Jackets held a 2-1 lead in the second period before allowing Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin, and Jacob Trouba to each score a goal in a span of 63 seconds, erasing an otherwise solid game to that point. 

“For one minute everyone went to sleep,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said after the Rangers game. “That cost us the game. Then we were just chasing. We lost a lot of wind in our sails. It got pretty ugly there for a while.”

There’s resilience to this Columbus team. Though they may not be a playoff team this season, the Blue Jackets are building a competitive squad for the long haul. There will be growing pains along the way like what happened this past week, but there are a lot of promising signs as well. 

Cole Sillinger has five points in his last four games and is looking like a future star. Linemate Yegor Chinakhov looks like a natural fit on his wing. Oliver Bjorkstrand is living up to his contract extension, leading the team with 15 points in 12 games. 

Red Wings Preview

The Blue Jackets (-130) are home favorites Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings (+110). Detroit is coming in hot as winners in four of their last five games. Tyler Bertuzzi is tied for eighth in the league in goals (nine in 13 games), and rookie Lucas Raymond (six goals, nine assists) and Moritz Seider (two goals, 10 assists) rank first and second among rookies in goals. 

Elvis Merzlikins is expected between the pipes. This season, he’s got a 5-2-0 record, a 2.42 GAA, and a .929 save percentage in seven games. He’ll go toe-to-toe against Thomas Greiss, who is 4-4-0 for the Red Wings this season with a 3.09 GAA and a .909 save percentage. 

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