Jeff Carter can finally take at least a brief rest from responding to trade rumors by actually playing hockey again. The Columbus Blue Jackets activated him from the injured reserve while placing defenseman Nikita Nikitin on the IR.
Carter missed the last 10 games with a shoulder injury and also sat out 10 other ones earlier this season with a broken foot. In the 30 contests he actually played, Carter scored 10 goals and 17 points. Those figures are disappointing, although his 10 goals place him second on the Blue Jackets behind leader Rick Nash (who has 17).
The oft-critiqued sniper will get a chance to get things back on track/bolster his trade value (depending on how you look at it) starting Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.
With one playoff appearance and zero postseason wins in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets have plenty of bad seasons to choose from. This current campaign has to rank up there, though, as spending/expectations were soaring high but the Jackets are falling flat on their faces.
Things somehow continue to get worse, though, as the Blue Jackets placed Jeff Carter on the injured reserve today. His separated shoulder leaves him at a dreaded week-to-week status.
Carter already missed 10 games with a broken foot, so this was a tough first season in Columbus even before the former Philadelphia Flyers sniper injured his shoulder. There’s really no reason to rush him back, either, being that the Blue Jackets are the NHL’s only team under the 30-point mark with 27 coming into Friday’s action.
Things are moving quickly for Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith today. Not only was Smith activated by the team from injured reserve, but he was immediately put into the lineup to start against the Blues in St. Louis. The Coyotes aren’t exactly easing him back into the fold, are they?
Mike Smith hasn’t played since December 20th when he hurt his groin in the 3rd period of a game against the Florida Panthers. After winning the first game without Smith, the Coyotes have limped to a 1-3-1 record over their last five games. Nothing against Jason LaBarbara or Curtis McElhinney, but the team that is built on strong team defense and solid goaltending could use Smith back between the pipes.
Smith had been one of the good stories of the early season before falling to the injury bug. His strong play behind one of the best defensive systems in the league has helped the Coyotes raise a few eyebrows in the early going. After the mini-slump with Smith out of the lineup, they need to put their foot back on the gas if they want to compete for one of those last playoff spots in the Western Conference.