Post Game: Columbus Blue Jackets’ Injuries Continue Vs. Ottawa Senators


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2. 113. 5. 91. Final

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH 

Attendance:  14,749

Last night the Columbus Blue Jackets limped into Nationwide Arena looking to bounce back after a rocky west-coast road trip that saw them grab 2 out of a possible 6 points, not to mention add more bodies to the growing IR list.  The good news was Cam Atkinson was back in the lineup after suffering a near-blinding cut to the eye, but the bad news was during the game two more Jackets went down with injuries.  Center Artem Anisimov was belted in the head by Ottawa’s Eric Gryba.  Anisimov left under his own power, but did not return to the game.  Defenseman James Wisniewski saw limited action late in the game, and is now listed with a broken finger.   To add insult to the ever growing list of injures, the Senators scored 3 goals in the third period to pull away from the depleted Jackets, and win 5-2.  David Savard and Atkinson were the goal scorers for Columbus.

For most of the game the Blue Jackets were out-shooting, and really out-playing the Senators, but it seemed where the game differed is in the goal.  No offense to Curtis McElhinney, who on short-notice is now the starter for the time being, but Robin Lehner played well by comparison.  It looked as if every time the Senators made a mistake, Lehner was able to bail them out.  Whereas on the other end of the ice, every time the Jackets made a mistake the Senators capitalized.  All of the blame can’t fall on McElhinney’s shoulders, as it should be acknowledge that by  the end of the game the CBJ  were playing with just 10 forwards and 5 defensemen.  In addition to the injury to Anisimove, forward Corey Tropp was given a game misconduct for hitting Ottawa’s Eric Borowieck from behind.  Many can argue that Borowiecki turned just before Tropp came flying in, but either way the ascthetics of the play made the hit look vicious.  Ottawa later buried  a goal on the ensuing 5 minute major, but by that point the game had already swung in their favor.

Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The play that changed the entire game was during the third period the Jackets had an opportunity to take the lead with the score tied at 2.  They came down on a 3 on 1 rush, but were not able to put it past Lehner.  With most of the Jackets focused on joining the rush up the ice, the puck quickly shot back the other way, resulting in a 3 on 1 for the Senators, who were able to beat McElhinney.  This play put the Senators up 3-2 and the Jackets could not answer back.

The bottom line after this game is this:  injuries happen, but this just means its time for the next man up.  Also, we are only 9 games into an 82 game season that is bound to have its share of ups and downs.  Right now is just a down for the Jackets.  Its time to see how much depth and character this team really has, and early tests are great for a team.  I’d much rather have all this happen right now than during mid to late season when the team should be hitting its stride.  A little adversity is good for a team, and to be honest did we expect this season to be a cake-walk into the playoffs?  No.  We didn’t.  It’s not the identity of the Blue Jackets to do things the easy way.  It takes hard work, grit, and perseverance to get to where they want to be, and this injury situation is no different.  I fully expect the remaining players and future call-ups to keep battling and moving forward, because that’s what it is to be a Blue Jacket now.  This game was just another bump in a long road, and hopefully they can regroup and get it done on Halloween against the Toronto Maple Leafs.