The injury bug has only made a case for a greater revenge tour for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Defensemen Seth Jones and Dean Kukan have been activated off injured reserve after missing a combined 43 games to close out the regular season with the Blue Jackets, just in time to get back in playing shape for the potential season resumption in early August.
Jones, a 25-year-old multi-time all-star and consistent Norris trophy candidate defenseman missed the final 14 games of the regular season due to a fractured ankle that he suffered on Feb. 11 against the Colorado Avalanche. Remember, the game he came back in after fracturing said ankle only to score a power play goal?
With 30 points through 56 games this season, Jones and was on pace for his fourth-straight 40-point season and fourth-straight 30-assist season. With his youth ever before him, it's evident the superstar defenseman will be ready to anchor a loaded Blue Jackets' blue line.
Kukan was absent for 29 outings to close out the regular season after sustaining a knee injury on Jan. 2 against the Boston Bruins. His five points in his 33 games played this campaign should not be scoffed at, though. Kukan is a confident skater who has a great shot at beating out Markus Nutivaara, Andrew Peeke and Scott Harrington for a spot on the bottom defensive pair come the series against the Maple Leafs.
After missing 400-plus man-games due to injury on the year, the most in the NHL, the Blue Jackets are finally started to see some of their banged-up skaters get healthy again. After all the free agency losses and then the injury plague and still making the "postseason", the chip the size of Mount Everest on the players' shoulders should be a helpful motivation when the play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the qualifying round.
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