With the NHL on a brief holiday break, news came from the Columbus Blue Jackets which could put the team in a rough situation going forward. With one center already hurt, it’s now been reported that there are two more players dealing with injuries which will keep them off the ice for at least a month and possibly longer than that. Here are the latest details of which Columbus Blue Jackets players are out of action and how the team is looking as their NHL season continues.
On Tuesday, ESPN reported that Columbus forward Cam Atkinson, as well as center Alexander Wennberg, will both be off the ice for anywhere from four to six weeks. Wennberg suffered a back injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins this past Thursday, while Atkinson broke his right foot while blocking a shot by the Philadelphia Flyers’ Seth Jones on Saturday. That puts both players out of action for a good bit of time as they join previously injured Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky. He suffered a fractured orbital bone while engaging in a fight this past month with Zack Kassian of the Edmonton Oilers. The injury, which happened a bit under two weeks ago, was said to put Dubinsky out for six to eight weeks.
For the current season, both Atkinson and Wennberg have contributed quite a bit for the Blue Jackets. Wennberg has played in 30 games and scored four goals to go with 12 assists, while Atkinson has racked up six goals and seven assists in 32 games. Dubinsky had three goals and nine assists in 31 games for the team.
In order to deal with the injuries, Columbus reportedly made some roster moves to try to fill the voids left by their key personnel. The team brought forward Tyler Motte and defenseman Dean Kukan onto the roster from their affiliate team, the Cleveland Monsters. In addition, they put forward Jordan Schroeder and Sonny Milano on emergency recall.
As far as their season goes, the Columbus Blue Jackets currently have a record of 22-13-2 which has them tied for second-place with the Washington Capitals in the Metropolitan Division. The team also is among the best in the league defensively, ranking sixth in goals allowed per game to opponents (2.6) and 14th in penalty kill percentage (82.0 percent).
Columbus returns to the ice on Wednesday night when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, and as Pro Hockey Rumors reported, the team plays eight of their next 12 games on the road, putting them in a tough spot with all these injuries.