Brandon Dubinsky

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

Blue Jackets lose Calvert (again)


The Columbus Blue Jackets seem like they’re getting the occasional peek at that light at the end of the tunnel, but they’re not there yet.

While Sergei Bobrovsky and Brandon Dubinsky skated on Saturday, Matt Calvert apparently had a setback. He re-aggravated an injury (he was on IR with head/ankle issues) and won’t play against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.

Columbus demoted Mark Dano in favor of Dana Tyrell, who looks to take Calvert’s spot in the lineup. The team’s in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, including last night’s overtime loss against the climbing Carolina Hurricanes.

Calvert hasn’t been all that productive this season (one goal, one assist and a -5 rating in nine games played), yet the Blue Jackets are hurting enough for experienced players that this stings.

Jackets lose another as Murray suffers injury ‘setback’


We’ve basically run out of creative ways to convey just how awful Columbus’ health has been this season, so let’s get right into it — tonight, the club will be without d-man Ryan Murray after he suffered a “setback” with what’s believed to be a knee injury.

Murray, 22, already missed seven of the Blue Jackets’ 11 games this season with the aforementioned ailment, playing his first game of the season on Oct. 26 versus Los Angeles. In Saturday’s 3-2 loss to New Jersey, he skated a season-high 23:27.

In light of Murray’s setback, James Wisniewski’s broken finger and Cody Goloubef’s knee injury (on IR, projected to be out six weeks), the Jackets are prepared to ice a blueline against Carolina that consists of Jack Johnson, Fedor Tyutin, Tim Erixon, Dalton Prout, Frederic St. Denis and David Savard.

Up front, the club will be without Nathan Horton, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu — but will return Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert.

Jackets take Jenner off IR, put Anisimov on


Columbus remained active on the transaction front Monday, making a flurry of roster and injured reserve moves.

The most notable ones are that sophomore Boone Jenner has come off IR after breaking his hand on Sept. 27, while forward Artem Anisimov is now on (retroactively) following a concussion suffered on Oct. 28.

In other moves, d-man Cody Goloubef is also on IR — projected to be out six weeks with a knee injury — leading to Frederic St. Denis’ call-up from AHL Springfield.

Given how crazy Columbus has been with injuries lately, here’s a look at the overall picture:

— At forward, Jenner and Matt Calvert are both expected to return from injury on Tuesday against Carolina. Anisimov, Nathan Horton, Brandon Dubinsky and Mark Letestu are still out.

— On defense, Goloubef joins James Wisniewski on the shelf. St. Denis could go right into the top-six alongside Jack Johnson, Fedor Tyutin, Ryan Murray, Tim Erixon and David Savard.

— In goal, Sergei Bobrovsky is still out and Curtis McElhinney will get the start versus the ‘Canes.