Jackets get shutout, lose Bobrovsky to injury
Coming off of back-to-back road wins against Boston and Minnesota, the Columbus Blue Jackets were looking to close out the first half of the season with a win in Winnipeg and carry some momentum into the All-Star break.
Contrary to the desired, the Jackets were demolished Wednesday by the Jets, losing not only 4-0 on the scoreboard, but also losing All-Star goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and Jeremy Morin to injuries.
Midway through the second period and down 3-0, Bobrovsky attempted to make a save with his left leg, but his right leg was unable to move with him. He immediately fell straight to the ice and was helped to the locker room by Brandon Dubinsky and Scott Hartnell.
Leaving the ice without any weight on his right leg, it would have to be assumed that Bobrovsky’s participation in Sunday’s All-Star Game is highly doubtful. The team said he’d be evaluated in Columbus on Thursday.
“It sinks all of the energy out of the bench,” Ryan Johansen said on watching Bobrovsky leave the ice. “Your most important player on the team goes down with an injury, and you don’t want to see that on any team, so hopefully he can recover as fast as he can”
Curtis McElhinney came on in relief for Bobrovsky and allowed a goal on 17 shots.
Morin did not return for the second period after suffering an upper-body injury.
Score wise, Blake Wheeler, Evander Kane, Jay Harrison, and Chris Thorburn, scored for the Jets. Similar to the last match between these two teams, the Jets got off to a quick start. Wheeler scored his 13th goal of the season just over a minute into the game. On November 25, Bryan Little scored nine seconds into the game in what turned out to be a 4-2 win for the Jets at Nationwide Arena.
“They were faster than us,” Hartnell said. “They were more physical than us, we gave them the puck too much that first period, that’s what led to their goals, and I guess against any team it’s tough to come back, but they dominated play most of the night.”
Michael Hutchinson was great for the Jets, stopping all 29 of the Jackets’ shots on his way to his second shutout of the season.
“He made every save and it didn’t seem like there were any second or third opportunities,” Hartnell said. “Their defense did a great job of boxing us out. Power play, I thought we had some chances, but we couldn’t get a goal there early when he had chances.”
“We played a great game in Boston, a great game in Minnesota, won two huge games,” Johansen said. “Obviously, it’s not the effort we wanted tonight, but that’s hockey. We’ll take these few days to regroup, and hopefully get healthy and give guys some time to recover a bit, and we’ll come back and try to get back to doing the things that make us successful.”
With six days to rest until their next game, the Jackets are nowhere near where they wanted, and thought, they would be at this point in the season. With the loss, the Jackets are now two games below .500, 15 points behind the New York Rangers for the third Metropolitan Division playoff spot, and 13 points behind Boston for the final Wild Card position.
The Jackets next play against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 27 in Nationwide Arena.