Kent Johnson is Out Indefinitely as the Result of a Late Cross-Check

The Blue Jackets will be without skilled forward Kent Johnson for an indefinite amount of time due to a blatant dirty play at the end of last night's loss to the NY Rangers.

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Rangers
Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Rangers / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The game was well out of reach. With just over 11 seconds left on the clock, the Blue Jackets and Rangers lined up for a meaningless center ice faceoff.

New York's Jonny Brodzinski easily won the draw over Columbus forward Kent Johnson, and then proceeded to deliver a hard, rising cross-check right into Johnson's mid-section. A move that has now sidelined Johnson indefinitely.

It goes without saying that the game was well over at this point. The Rangers had taken a 4-1 lead on the back of two empty net goals. This faceoff was a mere formality, that would set off the final few seconds of the game.

The puck was long gone by the time Brodzinski threw his stick into Johnson's ribs. To me, it looked like a clearly calculated decision by the Ranger forward. There's no other explanation for it - it's not like they were battling for a puck and he needed that ice.

All of that said, this wasn't the kind of brutal stick swinging or violent hit to the head that draws a suspension. More so, it looked like the kind of quiet message sending that only the guys on the bench will understand.

Maybe the Rangers were upset over losing the season series to the Jackets, who picked up 5 points in 4 games against them? Or, perhaps the Rangers were upset because Mathieu Olivier owned their 6'8" rookie in a fight on Sunday?

It's hard to say, and I'm sure we'll likely never know. It's an unfortunate bit of news for the Blue Jackets; another gut punch (cross-check?) in a season full of them. Hopefully Kent will heal up soon, and can get back on the ice before the campaign is finished.