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Blue Jackets’ defense gets thinner with Wisniewski injury

Feb 3, 2013, 10:09 PM EDT

jameswisniewskigetty Getty Images

Even when healthy, the Columbus Blue Jackets rank as underdogs to many, so they face tough odds in their current situation.

The team’s defense is in particular trouble after James Wisniewski* suffered a possible concussion on Saturday, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. This compounds earlier problems as Nikita Nikitin and Adrian Aucoin were already sidelined with lower-body injuries.

(Columbus announced on Sunday that Nikitin, 26, has been placed on the injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 29.)

GM Scott Howson has already had to insert younger blueliners such as David Savard, 22, and Tim Erixon, 21, into the lineup and now he’s calling upon Nick Holden, 25.

It might not be a short-term patchwork situation, either; Howson told Portzline that injuries might extend beyond their next game on Tuesday versus the Los Angeles Kings.

The greatest burden could fall upon 26-year-old defenseman Jack Johnson, who played just a second under 35 minutes (!) in Saturday’s 4-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings.

Offensively, Portzline reports that 23-year-old forwards Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson resumed skating, although Atkinson is still likely a week away.

* – Portzline reports that the team will evaluate Wisniewski, 28, further on Monday.

  1. 19to77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Jesus. Jack Johnson played 35 minutes and only had two giveaways? Jesus, when he played for the Kings he’d give up two goals in two shifts.

    • 19to77 - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      Derp, either I’m not paying enough attention when I type or my subconscious is feeling extra-pious today.

  2. contraryguy - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Johnson’s 34:59 was cited as the team record for time on ice, and he’s done a great job on D. Tyutin is the anchor on the blue line. The rest have until Tuesday night to get rested. No laying down on the job, Jackets!

  3. east96st - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    “No laying down on the job, Jackets!”

    Why should this year be any different from the last 12?

  4. watchfullhose - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    “Why should this year be any different from the last 12?”

    Because Ricky is gone!

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