Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine has skated over the past couple of days as he works his way back from an upper-body injury, notes Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch (Twitter link). The 25-year-old got off to a quiet start to his year with a goal and an assist in his first four games while also making the adjustment to playing down the middle on a regular basis. Head coach Pascal Vincent noted that Laine responded well after today’s skate which could be a sign that he could be back sooner than later. When that happens, Hedger notes that the team hasn’t decided if they will move Adam Fantilli back to the wing or if they’ll leave him in his natural center role and put Laine back in his natural wing position.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference:
- It appears as if the Penguins will avoid being without their starting goalie for long. Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette relays that Tristan Jarry is currently listed as day-to-day after leaving yesterday’s game early against Anaheim. As of yet, it’s worth noting that Pittsburgh hasn’t brought up one of their other AHL goaltenders, a sign that Jarry could be available to at least dress as the backup against Los Angeles. The 28-year-old has a 2.51 GAA and a .907 SV% in nine starts so far this season.
- Earlier today, Senators head coach D.J. Smith expressed optimism that defenseman Artem Zub would be back tonight against Toronto, he wound up being scratched for the seventh straight game, notes Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch (Twitter link). It’s the seventh straight game he has missed with a concussion. With Ottawa also missing Thomas Chabot and Erik Brannstrom at the moment, getting Zub back will be a critical addition but they’ll have to wait a little longer for that to happen.