As the Columbus Blue Jackets welcomed back one member of their roster on Wednesday, they learned they would be without one for an extended period of time.
Ryan Johansen hit the ice with his teammates for the first time, while Brandon Dubinsky underwent surgery to repair an abdominal injury. He’s expected to miss six weeks.
The news is just another blow to a Blue Jackets team that’s been hit with injuries before the 2014-15 season has even kicked off. Already without forwards Nathan Horton and Boone Jenner, and defenseman Ryan Murray, this is now hot head coach Todd Richards planned to begin a season in which the excitement level around the team is incredibly high.
“It’s disappointing for him because he really was invested,” Richards said. “I think it’s one of those things that maybe he tweaked something or some of it might have been preexisting, but it just led to this.
“Seems like every day it's something different. As (John Davidson) talks about curveballs, it seems like we’ve faced a lot of curveballs early on in this camp, but adversity and dealing with certain issues (is part of it). I think we’ve had a good camp, and now we’re going to kick off with Game 1 and I believe it will make us stronger."
Columbus opens in Buffalo on Thursday night and it’s still undecided whether Johansen will play.
This adversity coming out of the gate could end up being a good thing for the Blue Jackets. Then again, it could be a disaster with the numerous holes up front. But even if they stumble early on, is there any hole in the Eastern Conference too deep to dig out of?
- - - - - - -