Columbus Blue Jackets Miss Matt Calvert in Loss to NYR

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 25: Matt Calvert
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 25: Matt Calvert /

The Columbus Blue Jackets handed two points away to the New York Rangers on Monday night. They sorely needed Matt Calvert in the lineup to get that win.

Monday night’s game was lost on the penalty kill. The Columbus Blue Jackets, who were 11th in the NHL coming into the game, gave up three goals in five man down situations. That is 100% unacceptable for any NHL team. This is just the start of the life without Matt Calvert.

Often overlooked because of his lack of offensive firepower, the Manitoban is a vital cog for this team. He is by far the best penalty killer the Jackets have and could have really used some of that on Monday.

The penalty kill looked terrible as they only killed two man advantage situations out of five against the Rangers. The three power play goals in the third period propelled the blue shirt’s to a victory. Matt Calvert not being on the ice tonight certainly cost the Jackets one goal in the third, if not two. He is a special player on the penalty kill and one that the Columbus Blue Jackets will be without for three more weeks.

Thats 21 days and about ten games to get through. The Jackets have no one else on the roster that seems ready to pick up the mantle and carry the weight on the PK.

Life without Sedlak Starting to Hurt too

We can’t have this conversation without bringing up the absence of Lukas Sedlak either. The second year center was also a solid penalty killer for the Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 21: Lukas Sedlak /

Sedlak still has about a month left in recovery time with his injured ankle. We originally thought that Sedlak would hurt the team most in its center depth which was already thin. I think now we can see where missing Sedlak and Calvert is going to hurt the most on special teams.

There are some decent options to fill in though. I would like to see Markus Hannikainen get a chance to fill in more on the PK. He plays a similar style to Calvert except with more skill in the offensive end. But the real lynchpin in the penalty kill has to be Brandon Dubinsky.

His rough start has been well documented but an elevated leadership role on the PK could be big for Dubi. Having a chance to lead this team from a tough position will hopefully shock Brandon out of the funk he has been in to start the year.

Next: CBJ To-Do List for Week 6

No doubt someone has to step up though. Last nights drubbing is a sign of things to come if the Jackets don’t fix their special teams.