Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella said that goaltender Joonas Korpisalo‘s knee injury could keep him out for “weeks.” The team announced on Tuesday that “weeks” means 4-6 weeks after he underwent surgery on a torn meniscus, which will put his All-Star Game participation in doubt.
The injury to Korpisalo, who was hurt during a shootout against the Blackhawks, opens the door for Elvis Merzlikins to take the reins as the team’s No. 1 netminder for the next month. Merzlikins replaced Korpisalo after the first round of the shootout on Sunday.
“It hurts the team,” Tortorella said. “At least my thinking, I feel bad for the kid. I do. He’s been kicked about here for a number of years waiting for his opportunities, has stepped up and just got better and better as we go through here.
“I haven’t been able to take him out of the net and I’ve been wanting to get Elvis in because we’ve been wanting to see who he is but [Korpisalo] has not given me an opportunity. He’s played that good.”
Korpisalo was named the Blue Jackets’ lone All-Star on Monday to represent the Metropolitan Division in net along with Braden Holtby of the Capitals. It’s too early to tell if he’ll be needed, but Tristan Jarry of the Penguins is a fine option if a replacement is needed.