It’s not all bad news in Columbus lately. After suffering an injury in an ugly end-board collision a week ago, defenseman James Wisniewski is back practicing with the team.
As Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shares, Wisniewski is counting his lucky stars to not be more seriously injured.
“I watched the replay, and it was surreal,” Wisniewski said yesterday after returning to practice. “For one thing, I had no idea I was down on the ice that long. When I walked in (the dressing room), I didn’t really recognize the place.”
Wisniewski suffered the third (known) concussion of his career on the play and having him back practicing is important for the Jackets given the other injuries they’re dealing with on defense. Adrian Aucoin and John Moore are out of action and while it’s nice to have Jack Johnson playing more than 30 minutes a game to make up for the losses, that’s not optimal for keeping him fresh.
Wisniewski’s progress is going well, however, as he shed the “no contact” jersey for this morning’s practice.
At this point, 2012 first-round pick Ryan Murray would probably get a chance to crack the Columbus Blue Jackets’ injury-ravaged lineup … but he’s injured, too.
With Adrian Aucoin’s lower-body injury pushing him to the IR on Monday, the team recalled Cody Goloubef from the AHL. Goloubef, 23, might be a relative unknown but he’ll fit in on the blueline for at least one reason: he missed six weeks with a broken finger earlier in 2012-13, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Another blueliner John Moore (lower-body) faces an uncertain status for Tuesday’s game, so maybe it would just be easier to list the hasty additions and the guys who are on the shelf:
Aucoin, 39, is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Moore, 22, is day-to-day with a lower-body injury as well.
James Wisniewski, 28, is out indefinitely with what might be a concussion.
Nikita Nikitin, 26, is on the injured reserve with an upper-body issue.
Slightly new to totally new additions
- Golubef hasn’t played an NHL game yet.
- Tim Erixon, 21, has recently been recalled.
- David Savard, 22, looks primed to move from healthy scratch to in the lineup.
- Nick Holden, 25, played five games in 2010-11.
The bright side
The team finally got a chance to practice on Monday. Oh, and apparently Jared Boll makes a delicious Mexican dip.
(Hey, a bright side doesn’t have to be that bright, does it?)
Even when healthy, the Columbus Blue Jackets rank as underdogs to many, so they face tough odds in their current situation.
The team’s defense is in particular trouble after James Wisniewski* suffered a possible concussion on Saturday, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. This compounds earlier problems as Nikita Nikitin and Adrian Aucoin were already sidelined with lower-body injuries.
(Columbus announced on Sunday that Nikitin, 26, has been placed on the injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 29.)
GM Scott Howson has already had to insert younger blueliners such as David Savard, 22, and Tim Erixon, 21, into the lineup and now he’s calling upon Nick Holden, 25.
It might not be a short-term patchwork situation, either; Howson told Portzline that injuries might extend beyond their next game on Tuesday versus the Los Angeles Kings.
The greatest burden could fall upon 26-year-old defenseman Jack Johnson, who played just a second under 35 minutes (!) in Saturday’s 4-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings.
Offensively, Portzline reports that 23-year-old forwards Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson resumed skating, although Atkinson is still likely a week away.
* – Portzline reports that the team will evaluate Wisniewski, 28, further on Monday.