COLUMBUS -- Watching from the press box is an unfamiliar concept for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin so it's understandable why he's happy the game Saturday against the Boston Bruins in Nationwide Arena is a matinee: the sooner he gets back on the ice the better.
Tyutin played all 48 games last season and at least 80 in each of three of the past four seasons with the Blue Jackets but he missed the first three this season after dealing with a lower-body injury near the end of the preseason.
"After you miss a few games it's exciting to get back with the guys, first with practice and then to play the games," he said.
Coach Todd Richards said Tyutin will play against the Bruins but acknowledged Friday that the deciding which defenseman will sit will be harder than anticipated because of the progress shown by Ryan Murray and David Savard.
After losing the season opener 4-3 to Calgary, the Jackets went on the road to defeat the New York Islanders in a shootout and Thursday in Buffalo bested the Sabres 4-1 as the rookie Murray recorded his first NHL assist.
Murray seems a lock to stay in the lineup and Richards specifically said so will Savard, who was considered the eighth defenseman coming out of training camp, but has two assists and is tied with center Brandon Dubinsky for the team lead with a plus-three rating.
"The way Savard's played, the way Ryan Murray's played - all of those guys have done a good job," Richards said. "That's what you want, your young guys making cases for them to stay in the lineup."
As Richards and his staff ponder who Tyutin replaces, another question is whether Tyutin will pair with Jack Johnson as he did in the preseason games.