Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Erik Gudbranson is expected to play tonight after being limited to 16:49 in Saturday night’s game against the New York Islanders. A lower-body issue forced the 31-year-old defender to play his lowest minutes of the season, but it appears as though the Ottawa, Ontario native won’t miss any games and should be good to go against the Dallas Stars this evening.
Gudbranson has been held scoreless in eight games this season while averaging 19:32 of ice time per game. The Blue Jackets have struggled to possess the puck with the former third-overall pick on the ice, despite Gudbranson getting most of his starts in the offensive zone. Gudbranson has also been much less physical to start the year, averaging less than one hit per game, which is well below his career average of over two hits per game.
In other evening notes:
- New Jersey Devils reporter Amanda Stein tweeted that Devils defenseman Kevin Bahl missed practice today due to an apparent illness. This information comes from New Jersey head coach Lindy Ruff. Bahl has two assists in eight games this season and has seen a dramatic increase in ice time this year as he is playing over 19 minutes a night after averaging just 14:01 a game last season. The 23-year-old rearguard doesn’t offer much offensively but has started to develop into a reliable stay-at-home defenseman on what is a very deep Devils defensive group.
- Saad Yousuf of The Athletic reported today that Dallas Stars netminder Jake Oettinger have offseason surgery on his foot this past July from an ankle injury that occurred in October 2022. The 24-year-old had sought out multiple opinions and was surprised when he got the call early in the summer that he would need the procedure. The star netminder was only able to get back onto the ice in mid-September after rehab, just a week before the start of Stars training camp. Oettinger looks to be feeling no ill effects from a late start to his skating as he has gone 3-0-1 in his first four starts with a .952 save percentage.