With Injuries Piling Up, the Blue Jackets Are in a Tough Situation

By Jacob Nitzberg on December 23, 2019 at 1:45 pm
Dec 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) skates with the puck as Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) defends in the first period at Capital One Arena.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

You almost need all ten fingers to count the Blue Jackets who are currently injured.

Thanks to David Savard recovering from his illness (and drawing back into the lineup tonight against the New York Islanders), you only need nine at the moment.

Those nine are:

  • RW Cam Atkinson is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
  • RW Oliver Bjorkstrand (IR) is out 4-6 weeks with a rib cartilage contusion and an oblique strain. His expected return is early February.
  • LW Sonny Milano is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
  • RW Josh Anderson (IR) is out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury. His expected return is late January.
  • D Andrew Peeke (IR) is out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. His expected return is early February.
  • F Emil Bemstrom (IR) is out 6-8 weeks with a dislocated rib and broken cartilage. His expected return is mid-February.
  • D Ryan Murray (IR) is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
  • D Markus Nutivaara (IR) is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury
  • F Brandon Dubinsky (IR) is out indefinitely with a wrist injury.

It's not exactly ideal. 

But the Blue Jackets are still winning somehow, throughout all of this. Joonas Korpisalo is a big reason for that, as he was just named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for his efforts. Korpisalo went 4-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA, a .939 save percentage, and a shutout.

Call-ups from the AHL are getting opportunities too. Kevin Stenlund, Nathan Gerbe, Ryan MacInnis, and Jakob Lilja will all draw in tonight against the Islanders.

MacInnis was impressive against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night, putting four shots on goal. 

Gerbe hasn't seen the NHL in a while, but he's a veteran. He's played 396 NHL games, tallying 138 points. 

"[Gerbe] will be able to skate when he's 55. He's just a bundle of energy that way. That's a good call up for us tonight," said Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella this morning.

While the Blue Jackets are missing several valuable contributors, the new guys being brought in have a great opportunity to prove themselves in the NHL and push the injured Blue Jackets for their roster spots when (if?) they get healthy. 

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