This past Saturday, the crowd at Nationwide Arena held it’s collective breath when James Wisniewski careened into the boards and laid motionless on the ice. After what seemed like a half an hour, Wiz thankfully skated off the ice under (mostly) his own power. We now know that Wiz is out for some period of time but, emotion aside, many of us didn’t really know what was happening while Wiz was down and what might be good and what might be bad. The Union Blue team was fortunate to be attending the game with a soon-to-be medical resident who took a few moments to answer our questions and explain the medical protocols that are in place.
***Please note that this content represents one physician’s opinion. This article in no way presumes to know the specifics of Wiz’s injury, diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered as such. DO NOT attempt to perform any of the assessments or procedures outlined below, unless you also happen to be a medical professional***
1. When Wiz went down it looked awful – what were your immediate thoughts?
Upon the loud “thud,” I felt exactly how every spectator in the arena felt. I held my breath, focused on Wiz’s prone body on the ice, and hoped for movement. Within 2 seconds, seeing no movement, I jumped to the worst possible outcomes and wanted to know if he was conscious and breathing.
Continue reading A Look at the Wisniewski Injury
Rusty Klesla has sustained a substantial injury to his groin, which will take him out of the lineup for upwards of four to six weeks. Coming on multiple injury proned seasons, this is the last thing the fans and Rusty wanted to deal with. Making matters worse, he has been far and away one of Columbus’ best defenders during this year.
The Jackets have recalled Roy from Syracuse, and the line jugglging will likely continue into Thursday. My personal preference for pairings are the following;
Hejda – Commodore
Tyutin – Russell
Stralman – Methot/Roy
That being said, one can not ignore that Russell being on the same line as Commodore brought the best out of Mike last night, playing in one of his better games of the season and producing a +4 rating. This could play dividends with the coach, leaving him and option such as;
Hejda – Tyutin
Russell – Commodore
Stralman – Methot/Roy
While this does not provide the Jackets with a clear shutdown pairing, it balances the offensive defensemen with the defensive first defensemen, and maintains the Commodore/Russell line in tact. In any case, if the pairings deviate from what I have listed, I will be shocked if we see any sort of success defensively.
Carry the Flag!
Leave it to the Blue Jackets to have the red cross marks etched beside players names only a couple games into the pre-season. While some of the best players have yet to really get involved in the pre-season, early wear has become apparent in some of the depth players.
Jason Chimera, not one shift after getting stitched up from catching a puck with his face, succumbed to injury when Belanger hammered him into the boards. I was not about to see the hit, however, Belanger was issued a five minute boarding call on the play, leaving me with very little need for creative thinking. Reports are suggesting that Chimera is doing well, with all tests coming back negative, but one has to wonder what this will do to his playing time even when he does return to the lineup.
Somewhat of a rogue injury, Freddie Modin is now (once again) out of the lineup with a sprained MCL. They have suggested around 4 to 6 weeks, but frankly, I am absolutely sick of waiting for this guy to get healthy. He has had his chances over and over again, and whether or not this injury was on account of poor conditioning or bad bone structure, it is simply happening too many times for me to ever expect him to be a healthy option for this team. Scheduled at in my books to play on one of the bottom two lines, Modin is going to have some tenacious competition by some of the younger players trying to crack the lineup for the first time in their careers.
Finally, somewhat of a smaller loss, Sestito suffered a head injury when Nashville tough guy Tootoo took him to the ice during a fight. While all tests were negative, it certainly reduces Sestito’s chances of making a big splash this year. It should also come as a strong reminder to players like Derick Brassard that fighting is not worth the hassle for some players.
My bigger concern is offensive depth. While the Jackets have a few bubble players, Chimera and Modin provide a lot of veteran presence and that is valuable to no end for a team as young as the Jackets are. Hopefully Hitchcock is pushing for a high calcium and protein diet for our boys….. If this keeps up it might make for a long year.
Carry the Flag!
It looks as though Howson has made a ruling on center Derick Brassard, who had surgery in late 2008. While the center is recovering famously, playing him before May is extremely unlikely, which would basically put him out until the second round of the playoffs.
Now personally, I am not much of an advocate of bringing anyone back unless they are more than healed, but in this case, I might be able to bite my tongue. Because they are not pushing to get him back, maybe the May timetable is completely reasonable. Regardless, Brassard is not being rushed, and that is a very good thing.
This weekend the Jackets play the Florida Panthers, who are fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both with similar styles, the game will certainly draw interest from the attending crowd. A win would bring Columbus within two points of Chicago, who fell to the 5th spot last night for the first time in probably a couple months.
One other point of interest I would like to get out there is their away record. While the Jackets have had tremendous success at home this year, their record away remains below .500 at 14-17-4. I think winning 5 of their last 6 away games would be a serious statement for the team heading into the post season, and I do not think it is all that hard to do.
Their final away games are against Florida, Tampa Bay, St Louis(2), Nashville, and Chicago. Interesting how 4 of those six are against division rivals, and winning them would definitely put the dagger in the heart of any divisional team trying to get past them in the standings. Here is hoping they treat the next 11 games as though they are all playoffs games.
Carry the Flag!
It was clear that members of the Detroit Red Wings had an agenda last night. Go big and aim for the glove on mono recovered Steve Mason. They took advantage a couple times on a glove hand that seemed a bit slower than usual, but Mason stood strong, allowing Columbus to gain another two points in a game that most teams would accept one or zero points in.
Outside of their clear glove hand target, the physicality around Mason was also prevalent, with guys like Meech crashing into him without penalization. Good thing Columbus has rarely been favored this year, and would definitely defend their goalie at all costs regardless of how the refs decide to call it.
Getting past the game itself, having Mason come back and gain a victory is also a big positive for the team in a couple different ways. First off, it reminds LaCosta that his time is not right now, and Mason will hold onto the spotlight for the time being. It also reminds the fans that no team has that many players come in and steal the show, but frankly, we should consider ourselves lucky that he was able to come in and play as well as he did.
Secondly, it truly shows the value of the team outside of the net. The defense and offense may not have bailed out Mason last night, but they played very smart and strong hockey against Colorado and San Jose with young LaCosta between the pipes.
Finally, it shows that Mason was not on a hot streak. Many young players and even veterans come in and play fantastic hockey for a given period of time only to flatten out. I feel like if Mason was simply riding the wave, that momentum would have dissipated with the time off and he would have come out poorly last night.
Looks like the only guy who will not learn is Hitchcock. Mason will be starting again tonight in net against Carolina.
Carry the Flag!
Concerns are once again running amok in Columbus with captain and leading scorer Rick Nash moving to the IR. According to the Dispatch, his injury was not healing the way they anticipated, and I am left wondering whether they are simply not willing to create a bigger injury, or whether they are downplaying his leg injury to ease the minds of fans..
At any rate, MacKenzie has been recalled from the Crunch, which actually is not the worst thing. He had tremendous hustle in training camp and in the pre-season, consistently being one of the names I would write down in regards to grit and effort on the ice. While his time in Columbus has been minimum, he has appeared in 23 games for Syracuse, amassing 8 goals and 10 assists. He should be the perfect fit on the third or fourth line playing with Boller and Dorsett.
This move also makes one question what it will take for Howson to pull the trigger on a trade, be it big name or mediocre name. Blunden was clearly a minimal trade and really did not suit the needs of the Jackets, considering he has been in the AHL all season, and he is known for his injury woes. Cory Murphy was waived by the Panthers today, who is a puck moving defensemen with a salary under one million. Could it be possible that Howson makes a move for him to replace a guy like Russell, who has a great deal of trade value considering what he has brought to the Jackets over the last month or so?
I personally hope Russell stays around, as he is easily the most visible defensemen on the Jackets squad in terms of puck movement, and I think his removal would be a clear loss for them when it came to game time.
But stay positive and Carry the Flag. The guys are playing well, and as a unit. Here is hoping they can hang on until some of the major names can return from what Anna likes to call their “visit from the injury ninja.”
Carry the Flag would like to welcome Pascal Leclaire back to the injured reserve! His nagging ankle once again proved too much for him to handle today, and the Jackets have placed him for the fourth time on the IR because of it.
Dan LaCosta will be the emergency recall from Syracuse, who will likely backup Steve Mason from now until forever. This does not bode well for the team, considering Mason has not had a break in quite some time, although that may give him yet another strong opportunity to fight for rookie of the month in January.
To make things worse, Huselius spent only twenty minutes on the ice at practice, without participating in any of the physical drills. Captain Nash probably will not see any time until next week, in what I am suspecting is precaution by Hitchcock, who is running horribly short on scoring forwards, and will have to rely on young guys like Voracek and Filatov to make their mark on the NHL early in their careers.
I hope to get a better update on Nash and Huselius within the next day. Seems a shame that the entire Jackets nation just watched Leclaire’s trade value plummet.
Carry the Flag.