New Jersey’s Adam Larsson has been back from his injury for a while now. Larsson had missed a few weeks with a bruised lower back in early February, but came back before the end of the month to try and help the Devils keep winning.
“My game’s been up and down, I think,” Larsson told The Star-Ledger today. “The last few games it’s been pretty good, but it was pretty tough for me. I wasn’t in the best shape when I came back. I probably came back too quick after my injury.”
In the eight games Larsson has played since returning, he has just one assist and a plus-minus rating of plus-2. The stats aren’t impressive and Larsson hasn’t done much to make himself stand out. Then again, he’s in just his first NHL season and is all of 19-years-old. Things could be worse, but given the kind of minutes he’s playing, not getting noticed isn’t exactly a bad thing.
Still, considering how he feels he came back too soon and the way Travis Zajac rushed back to action after tearing his Achilles tendon before being out of action with soreness, you understand how high the pressure is to get back to action.
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 Post-Dispatch 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.
The Post-Dispatch 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: