The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to be ravaged by injury. This time, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that Elvis Merzlikins, Jake Bean, and Emil Bemstrom were all having medical tests completed this afternoon to determine the extent of their various injuries. With Merzlikins out, the team has recalled Daniil Tarasov from the minor leagues under emergency conditions. Patrik Laine has been moved to injured reserve, as he is expected to miss quite a while with a sprained ankle.
Merzlikins left last night’s game with an undisclosed injury and wasn’t present at practice today, leaving Joonas Korpisalo as the only professional netminder on the ice (the other goal was tended by Reid Robertson, who is in their hockey ops department, according to team reporter Jeff Svoboda).
These three new injuries are in addition to the absences of Laine, Zach Werenski, Jakub Voracek, Justin Danforth, Nick Blankenburg, and Adam Boqvist, who are all on injured reserve as well. Things are unraveling in Columbus, and yet they still squeaked out an overtime win last night against the Philadelphia Flyers to climb to 5-9-1 on the year.
Tarasov, 23, has already appeared in five games for the team this season, posting a .893 save percentage. The young netminder has shown promise but is limited by inconsistency (as many young netminders are). Still, with Korpisalo an inconsistent enigma himself, they may end up sharing the workload should Merzlikins end up on the shelf for a while.
When it’s this bad is it possible that
1. The ice is a problem in Columbus
2. The training staff do not have a warm up plan for the players
3. The blue jacket franchise is cursed