Columbus’ McElhinney starts run as No. 1 with shutout


Once word broke that Sergei Bobrovsky would miss four-to-five weeks with a groin injury, many wondered if the Columbus Blue Jackets could trust journeyman backup Curtis McElhinney to carry the mail. He passed his first test on Friday.

McElhinney shut the Minnesota Wild out tonight as the Blue Jackets cruised to a 4-0 victory (Columbus generated a 41-20 shot disparity).

The Blue Jackets note that this is his first shutout in almost exactly two years. The 30-year-old is just 2-3-1 this season, yet he’s done  well individually in his very limited opportunities. With Bobrovsky likely out until we hit 2014, this is a promising start, even if the numbers indicate that the Blue Jackets made life pretty easy for him.

That’s not necessarily a common theme of his recent life experiences, as McElhinney’s had a tough go of things even compared to other goalies who bounce between the NHL and AHL.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline adds background on the horrific injury McElhinney suffered two seasons ago, when he tore both his groin muscles and cracked his pubic symphysis.

/Imagines PHT readers getting up from the kitchen table and sadly throwing boiled chicken meals in the trash …

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.