It’s Joonas Korpisalo and Daniil Tarasov for at least the next little while, as Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen updated Elvis Merzlikins’ timeline today. The netminder will be out for 1-2 weeks with a lower-body injury. Jake Bean, who was also being evaluated yesterday, still doesn’t have a firm recovery timeline but it is “not looking good,” according to Larsen, who spoke with reporters including Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch.
Merzlikins hadn’t been doing well this season anyway, posting a .864 save percentage in nine appearances behind one of the worst teams in the league. The 28-year-old goaltender allowed two goals on 17 shots before leaving on Tuesday, and has a whopping 4.74 goals-against average on the year.
Korpisalo, who has been the better of the two goaltenders so far, will take the lion’s share of the starts while Merzlikins is out. Now 28, Korpisalo’s current .910 save percentage would rank as his best since 2019-20, should he maintain it all season. Tarasov, called up yesterday under emergency conditions, has a .893 in five appearances for the Blue Jackets tonight.
Emil Bemstrom, who is also dealing with an injury, is a game-time decision for tonight’s match against the Montreal Canadiens.