While it’s true that every team deals with injuries, it seems like some get bit by that bug to an almost ridiculous degree. Aside from possibly the New York Islanders (a team who lost their best defenseman Mark Streit before a single game was played and also dealt without Kyle Okposo for most of the campaign), the St. Louis Blues were probably hit the hardest by injuries this season.
They fought major injuries to David Perron, Andy McDonald and Roman Polak. Meanwhile players such as Jaroslav Halak, TJ Oshie and seemingly their entire defense missed time with moderate problems.
Steen is dealing with a high ankle sprain while Jackman underwent surgery on a broken right finger Thursday morning.
For those who might worry about seeing them play for St. Louis again, they should be back next year barring a trade. Jackman’s deal expires after the 2011-12 season while Steen is locked up through 13-14.
GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: