Apparently the “hockey gods” finally made their rounds back to the Columbus Blue Jackets, as they announced that forward Brian Gibbons was placed on IR on Friday. The Blue Jackets recalled Alexander Wennberg and Cody Goloubef as well today.
The Blue Jackets estimate that Gibbons, 26, will need about two-to-three weeks to recover from a knee injury that he suffered against the Washington Capitals last night.
Depending upon healing speed, the Blue Jackets could be quite a bit stronger at the end of Gibbons’ recovery window; the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports that Scott Hartnell could also be back from his finger injury in a couple weeks.
The bright side is that there might be some benefit to getting another look at Wennberg, 20.
Both Gibbons and Wennberg have played 21 games apiece so far in 2014-15, and while Gibbons has two more assists (five versus three) in that frame, the Blue Jackets obviously must expect bigger things from Wennberg long-term.
(He was the 14th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, after all.)
As much as this injury narrative has dominated the Blue Jackets’ headlines this season, the team recently went on a seven-game winning streak and has recorded at least one standings point (7-0-1) in December. Their next game is against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Winners of five straight, things were looking up for the Columbus Blue Jackets… which means something had to go wrong.
On Friday, it did.
The Jackets placed forward Scott Hartnell on injured reserve with a broken finger, suffered during Thursday’s 3-2 win over Washington. He’s expected to miss two weeks with the ailment.
Prior to getting hurt, Hartnell had six goals and 17 points in 28 games this year, averaging just under 18 minutes a night. The veteran winger had also been a catalyst during the club’s recent winning streak, with three points in the five wins.
The injury is also a step back for Columbus’ overall health. Despite returning a few bodies to the lineup — including alternate captain Brandon Dubinsky — the club is now facing a stretch in which it’ll be without Hartnell, Ryan Murray, Mark Letestu, Artem Anisimov and Fedor Tyutin. The team is also still without Nathan Horton, who has yet to play this season while dealing with a severe back injury.
In a move related to the Hartnell injury, Columbus recalled Kerby Rychel from AHL Springfield on Friday.
The Philadelphia Flyers were hoping that the worst was behind them after a decent 1-1-1 showing during the west coast portion of their road trip, but they were dealt another setback with tonight’s 3-2 overtime loss against Columbus.
Since Nov. 8, the Flyers have gone 2-8-3. Still, they can take some consolation in the fact that they walked away with a point tonight. After former Flyer Scott Hartnell scored a power-play goal in the second period, it looked like they might not even get that much as it took a last minute, controversial goal by Brayden Schenn to send this game into overtime.
Kevin Connauton scored his first goal of the season and just the second of his career to lead Columbus to victory.
The Blue Jackets have won four straight games to improve to 10-15-2 this season. After a disastrous start to the campaign fueled primarily by injuries, Columbus is starting to look like a team that can still challenge for a playoff spot. In fact, the Blue Jackets and Flyers are only separated by one point through 27 games. When the month started it was a five-point gap.
Philadelphia will return home to face the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.