John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bobrovsky Out 4-5 Weeks With Groin Strain

Nov 22, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

For the Columbus Blue Jackets, the month of December was supposed to mark the return of several key pieces to their lineup; Nathan Horton, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Jared Boll, and Derek MacKenzie. While all of the aforementioned players remain on track (and in the case of Dubinsky, have already returned), the injury bug took one more big bite out of the Blue Jackets lineup last night. On a routine (but spectacular) save during the third period, Sergei Bobrovsky stretched out and appeared to make contact with the goal post. Bobrovsky was unable to get up and needed assistance to leave the ice. His inability to put pressure on his left side had many believe the contact with the post caused the injury. While the replays were not conclusive, a MRI this afternoon was. Bobrovsky strained his groin and will be out of the lineup for 4-5 weeks.

With last year’s Vezina winner now out, Curtis McElhinney will need to transform from the “McBackup” to the “McWall” and keep this team on the right path. McElhinney has shown he can backstop the Jackets to a win (as he did against the Vancouver Canucks on October 20th) and currently possesses a 2.34 GAA and .925 SV%. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen tried to take an optimistic approach to the unfortunate situation in his comments after the injury was announced:

Nov 20, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

While Bobrovsky’s numbers have not been Vezina worthy so far this season (2.72 GAA, .909 SV%) he was starting to show some promise lately, especially in last night’s game against the Lightning. While the Blue Jackets dominated the second period, Bobrovsky kept Tampa Bay off the scoreboard in the first, despite the puck spending the majority of the period in the Jackets zone. The Jackets feared the worst for Bobrovsky this morning and called up Springfield Falcons starting goaltender Mike McKenna, who was ironically watching the CBJ game when Bobrovsky went down with the injury. McKenna will back up McElhinney while Bobrovsky is out, it is not yet known when he will get an opportunity to start. Stay tuned for more on Bobrovsky’s injury and what it means for the Jackets, as well as more on McElhinney and McKenna.

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