Mounting Injuries for the Blue Jackets are Hurting the Entire Organization

The Blue Jackets played without 6 NHL regulars last night - and lost another player due to injury. This has a ripple effect through the entire organization.
Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens
Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Here we go again. The Jackets saw their entire season washed away by injuries last year; with 545 man games lost due to various ailments.

We all hoped that situation would correct itself this year, as the team came back healthy and with a deeper lineup. They have had better luck for most of this season, but right now that luck seems to have dissipated.

Last night, the team was missing six NHL regulars from their lineup: Patrik Laine (NHLPA assistance program), Kent Johnson (shoulder, out for the season), Yegor Chinakhov (upper body, day-to-day), Justin Danforth (concussion, week-to-week), Sean Kuraly (lower body, week-to-week), and Adam Fantilli (leg laceration, indefinite).

Added to the pile: defenseman Adam Boqvist played just two shifts last night, picking up an assist before leaving the game early after a collision with one of the officials. Should he miss any time, the Jackets will have to recall another player from the Cleveland Monsters.

Which is becoming an issue. The Monsters are currently locked into battle for first place in the AHL's North Division. They sit two points up on the Syracuse Crunch, but the Crunch have one game in hand.

If the Monsters are going to win their division and give themselves the best opportunity to advance through the AHL playoffs, they need all the help they can get. But the injuries in Columbus are decimating the core of the Cleveland roster.

Currently Monsters with the Jackets: Trey Fix-Wolansky (first in points - fourth in the entire AHL in scoring), as well as their third (team captain Brendan Gaunce), fourth (Carson Meyer) and sixth (Mikael Pyyhtia) leading scorers.

If the Jackets need to recall a defenseman in Boqvist's absence, they could opt for the team's second leading scorer in Jake Christiansen. Or, they could recall top prospect David Jiricek - who has 16 points in 22 games.

Honestly, it doesn't even really matter. Whoever the Jackets opt to bring up is going to sting the Monsters even more.

This is the kind of year we've come to expect from this franchise. Call us cursed. At this point, that's what it feels like.

With a franchise stocked full of young talent, the one thing we can hope for in a down NHL season is a competitive playoff run by our AHL franchise. Hopefully the Jackets can weed through injuries and send the Monsters their most important pieces before it's too late.

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