News and Notes from Wednesday's Practice Ahead of the Blue Jackets' Clash with the Islanders on Thursday

By Coby Maeir on December 28, 2022 at 1:45 pm
Joonas Korpisalo
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Elvis is in the building.


Elvis Merzlikins was back on the ice at practice Wednesday. He's been out since Dec. 13.

Cole Sillinger also returned to practice after being activated off of IR. He hasn't played since Dec. 17 due to an upper-body injury.

Nick Blankenburg was on the bench in a practice uniform. It appeared as though he would skate individually after practice. He hasn't played since Nov. 10 and is currently on IR.


Here are the lines and power play units at practice today:


Soundbites from Brad Larsen

  • On Kent Johnson playing center: "I like him in the middle of the ice because he can keep his feet moving. He's in motion a lot when he grabs the puck and that's where he's dangerous, right? When he's got the puck and he can move. So on both sides, I think there's been some positive and some teaching."
  • On splitting up Johnson and Johnny Gaudreau: "We're going to try different things as guys get back and there's different reasons why we move guys...And I'm not gonna get into all those reasons, but it's not because of poor play or anything like that. I just might look at something different."
  • On David Jiricek and Czechia beating his home nation of Canada at the World Juniors: "I missed the first game. Unfortunately, he took out our Canadians. He and [Stanislav] Svozil were killing us...It's a great experience for him. He did well and Svozil did well and it's a big deal to beat Canada and especially in Canada. It's great for them."

The Blue Jackets take on the Islanders in New York Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 FM The Fan.

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