With Nick Foligno's Three-Game Suspension, Eric Robinson Has a Chance to Make His Case to Stick in the NHL

By Max Steele on November 12, 2019 at 10:15 am
Feb 23, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Eric Robinson (50) against the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets have called up forward Eric Robinson in response to the news that Nick Foligno will be suspended three games.

However, it shouldn't be a big adjustment for Robinson.  He's been there before.

The New Jersey native has played 14 NHL games, most coming last season during his call-up while part of the team's forward lineup was injured. 

While he has limited experience and is yet to score a point in the NHL, this call-up provides an excellent opportunity for both player and club.  Despite limited playing time last season, Robinson impressed the organization.  John Tortorella has especially been high on Robinson, who he has praised for his speed and work ethic.

While it's hard for any team to lose its captain, Robinson might be a needed change of pace for the offensively-anemic Blue Jackets.  He's looking to make a name for himself, establish an NHL career.  He'll be playing hard.

It's the tenacity from players trying to make the league that might provide a spark to the team who are 1-6 in their last seven games. 

In several of those games, Kole Sherwood, fellow former teammate to Robinson in Cleveland, was one of the most noticeable forwards for the team.  And not only because of his offensive chances and Milan Lucic's sucker-punch, but mostly because of how hard he's been working.

If Eric Robinson can play as hard as Sherwood, with whom he's projected to share a line tonight in Montreal, they'll provide an excellent test for any comfortable NHLers.

Robinson will be the latest to audition for the 12th forward spot on the Columbus team.  The spot was first held by Jakob Lilja, then Sonny Milano (who was then promoted), then Sherwood, and now Robinson.  The Princeton graduate will look to stick around just like Milano and Sherwood.

The surprising omission from the last forward spot is Riley Nash, who was healthy scratched last game in Colorado and looks to be scratched for Montreal as well.

Robinson's call-up could rouse the 30 year-old, NHL veteran into heightened, more consistent play.  If not, he'll lose his spot permanently to the young power forward. 

In either case, there's a positive for the NHL team.  Either Nash plays better and comes back in, or Robinson impresses and stays in, both situations involving one player having an improved performance for the team.  The only bad possibility is that they both continue to struggle, but the Blue Jackets can't be thinking of that situation as of now.

Robinson is a young player, hoping to make a case for himself to become an NHL regular.  For the sake of the Blue Jackets, who are on a recent losing slide, he'll look  provide a spark that the team desperately needs.