Joonas Korpisalo Will Miss Rest Of Season Due To Injury Suffered vs. Lightning

By Jacob Nitzberg on April 27, 2021 at 10:20 am
Apr 4, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) blocks the puck against the Florida Panthers during the second period at BB&T Center.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When the Blue Jackets have had a season like they've had, sometimes it feels like the hits just keep on coming.

Today's dose of bad news came in the form of another injury, as the club confirmed that Joonas Korpisalo would miss the rest of the season (six games) after suffering a lower-body injury vs. Tampa Bay on Saturday night. Korpisalo sustained the injury while sliding across the crease, and while he tried to skate it off, he was unable to. Elvis Merzlikins came in for the rest of the contest, and the Latvian netminder will get the lion's share of playing time down the stretch now. He's slated to start tonight against Detroit.

Korpisalo had his fair share of struggles this year, as did the rest of the team. He went 9-13-7 with a .894 save percentage and 3.30 GAA, both marks that are well above his career averages of .905 and 2.90. With this news, it's a very real possibility that Korpisalo has played his last game with the Blue Jackets, as he was outperformed by Merzlikins this season.

"I think our goaltending's been really good at times," said John Tortorella on Tuesday morning. "I think it has, with both Elvis and Korpi, I think it's been a struggle the past little while here. That's what was so disappointing for me, for Korpi, because I thought he was playing one of his better games in quite a while before he was injured...listen. We give them no run support. It puts a lot more pressure on (the goalies)."

Tortorella has a point. The Blue Jackets are 29th out of 31 teams in goals per game, scoring a measly 2.38. Only Detroit (2.28) and Anaheim (2.14) are worse. 

"I think (our goalies) have played kind of like our team has played," said Tortorella. "We've been in and out, and average at times. I don't think they've been bad, but I don't think they've been at their total level that I think they can play at. That's what was so frustrating with Korpi, because I thought he was so good in that game before he got injured."

The Blue Jackets also made several roster moves this morning, some of which were due to the news regarding Korpisalo, and some not. Liam Foudy was recalled to the active roster from Cleveland (AHL), and Cliff Pu went from the taxi squad to Cleveland. Matiss Kivlenieks was added to the active roster from the taxi squad on an emergency recall, and Daniil Tarasov was added to the team's taxi squad from Cleveland.

The Blue Jackets will take on the Red Wings tonight at Nationwide Arena, with puck drop slated for 7:00 P.M., as they try to snap a nine-game losing streak.