Tag: Brandon Dubinsky

Winnipeg Jets v Columbus Blue Jackets

Another Columbus calamity: Anisimov’s out 2-3 months


You know things are bad when a team’s Twitter account is pleading with the “hockey gods” for mercy: the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that Artem Anisimov will miss two-to-three months with a torn triceps muscle.

One must consult a nearby thesaurus to find a more ornate word for what Columbus is going through, as “ridiculous” doesn’t even seem appropriate.

The hope is that Brandon Dubinsky will finally come back soon, with even an outside chance of returning today. Even so, the damage has already been done – November was the worst month in the franchise’s rocky history – and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be much closer to full strength for a while.

Anisimov hasn’t been a world-beater with six points in 16 games played, yet he’s an experienced player who seems to move the puck forward. Without the 26-year-old, the Blue Jackets must stretch their lineup that much thinner, even if Dubinsky could conceivably replace his work and maybe add a little bit more.

Sadly, it’s tough to imagine Columbus being deep in the playoff mix whenever Anisimov can return.

One can understand this tweet, all things considered.

Dubinsky to the rescue? Crashing Jackets lose Anisimov

Artem Anisimov

As if things weren’t bed enough for the Blue Jackets, Artem Anisimov sustained an upper-body injury on Saturday and won’t be available Monday, per the Columbus Dispatch. Columbus will have to try to end its six-game losing streak without him. This comes just days after a TSN report indicated that the Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers were discussing a swap that would involve Anisimov and David Perron.

There is a silver lining though as Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery) is getting close to returning and might even be able to make his season debut Monday.

“I haven’t spoken with Brandon yet today,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said, “but he skated in Nashville yesterday … had a good, hard skate and said he felt really good afterward. I don’t know how he feels today.”

Columbus finished 2-9-2 in November, which is a franchise worst for that month. With a 6-15-2 record overall, Columbus’ record is two points worse than the 29th place Oilers.

“It leaves you scratching your head … trying to find solutions,” Richards said. “Why? Where? When? All of those questions. You back-track, you go over everything. Was it a moment, a succession of games? Was it weeks? Was it a period? You try to find those answers.”

The Blue Jackets have dealt with more than their fair share of injuries this season with Anisimov only being the latest victim. At least getting Dubinsky back would be a step in the right direction, given how helpful he was in the team’s run to the 2014 playoffs.

As Columbus searches for ‘identity,’ Dubinsky resumes practicing

Brandon Dubinsky, Taylor Beck

With a little holiday break, the Columbus Blue Jackets contemplated their tough start, telling the Columbus Dispatch that they’re still trying to “find our identity.”

Perhaps it’ll return when Brandon Dubinsky gets back into the mix?

The 28-year-old participated in his first team practice of 2014-15 on Thursday, with the team website describing him as a “mostly-full participant.” His return could possibly come in the next week, give or take.

“It was great to have him out on the ice,” Head coach Todd Richards said. “It’s a step in the right direction. (It) didn’t look like the speed or anything like that, like he was out of place – but you could tell that he hadn’t been out there in a while. The more reps you get, the more opportunities he gets to skate with us, the better.”

While Ryan Johansen is their most dangerous scorer and Sergei Bobrovsky is the workhorse goalie, Dubinsky may very well be the best example of the sort of versatile, tenacious hockey the Blue Jackets play on their best days.

After all, not many players are strong in the faceoff dot (52.9 percent last season), effective in possession stats despite challenging workloads, physical enough to rank second on their team in hits and able to pitch in 50 points to boot.

That’s not to say that Dubinsky is a cure-all for Columbus, but in a season that’s been marred by injuries, he’s been one of the most glaring omissions. The Blue Jackets must be delighted by the possibility of a looming return.

After they ‘self-destructed’ vs. Detroit, what’s next for Blue Jackets?

San Jose Sharks v Columbus Blue Jackets

On a night where several teams disappointed at home — Toronto, Dallas and Montreal specifically — the Columbus Blue Jackets had issues of their own Tuesday evening, dropping a 5-0 decision to Detroit at Nationwide.

This one, though, featured a few messages being sent.

Ryan Johnansen and Scott Hartnell were both benched — Johansen didn’t play the final 15:19, Hartnell the final 9:44 — for undisciplined third-period penalties that turned a 2-0 deficit into a five-goal drubbing, a result that left head coach Todd Richards irate.

“It was a 2-0 game and we were okay,” Richards said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “We weren’t great. It’s a 2-0 game, we’re in it. And then we self-destructed in the third period.”

The loss left Columbus with just 13 points through 18 games this year, putting it on pace for 59 this season — far, far short of the 96 defenseman James Wisnewski figured the club would need to make the playoffs for the second straight year.

What was perhaps most disturbing about Tuesday’s loss is the Blue Jackets looked ready to make a run. But after winning consecutive games for just the second time this season — against Philly and San Jose — the team suffered its most lopsided defeat, and was shutout for the first time this season.

Now make no mistake, Columbus’ health woes this season are legit, and well-documented. The club lost 118 man games to injury through the first 17 games and is still without the likes of Nathan Horton, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Murray, Fedor Tyutin, Mark Letestu and Cody Goloubef. It’s definitely an issue.

In response to that, GM Jarmo Keklainen has perhaps decided that enough’s enough. He’s made a pair of moves in the last four days, first trading for veteran d-man Jordan Leopold, then picking up ex-Dallas rearguard Kevin Connauton off waivers.

If one had to guess, more moves could be coming. Something needs to change and the club isn’t about to shake things up by firing head coach Todd Richards — having just signed a contract extension in May — so making roster moves could be the play. Columbus currently has nearly $7 million in space, per CapGeek, and could place Horton on LTIR to recoup his $5.3 million cap hit.

“You have to try to use every possible way you can keep the team competitive when you have this many injuries,” Kekalainen said, per the Dispatch.

Blue Jackets get Bobrovsky, Anisimov back tonight


Sure, they’re still enduring setbacks, but the Columbus Blue Jackets are getting some key players back tonight and could see more return soon. The team announced that top goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and forward Artem Anisimov will play against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Head coach Todd Richards announced that Anisimov is expected to center a like with Alexander Wennberg and Adam Cracknell.

Columbus could crawl even closer to full strength (or at least “normal health for an NHL team enduring the rigors of an 82-game season”) on Tuesday. Richards said that Jack Skille and Matt Calvert at least have a chance to play then. Brandon Dubinsky remains day-to-day, so things seem at least a little brighter for the brittle Blue Jackets.

Fittingly, it’s not all solid-to-good news, as Fedor Tyutin won’t play tonight and his longer term status is still unclear:

Overall, Columbus still has a ways to go, but at least the Blue Jackets are starting to look healthier and put that mammoth losing streak behind them.