It's been a long week for the Blue Jackets. Literally.
They last played Saturday night against San Jose (a 3-2 loss at Nationwide Arena) and have been out of game action since. Up next is a Friday night game against the Blackhawks, again on home ice, before heading out west for a four-game trip that begins Saturday in Dallas.
Needless to say, they are itching to get back on the ice and change that "0" in the win column.
"It's a big game for us," John Tortorella said after practice. "We've been sitting on 0-2 for a week here. It sucks. We need to have a good start and feel good about ourselves."
There were some changes in practice today, namely on the back end. Ryan Murray was reunited with Seth Jones and Zach Werenski on the left side of David Savard. The third pairing featured Jack Johnson on the left side and Markus Nutivaara on the right.
Why the change? It was a simple line of thinking from Tortorella.
"I didn't like how the pairs played in the last game," he said.
He also wants to tread lightly with Werenski, who has shown much promise in his first two NHL games but is still only 19 years old. He logged significant minutes in both games playing primarily with Jones.
"We have to be careful with (Werenski)," Tortorella said. "He's still a young man."
GOLOUBEF ON WAIVERS
Cody Goloubef missed the start of the season due to an oblique injury and has been working his way back to 100 percent over the last three weeks.
Now that he's cleared and ready to return, the Blue Jackets want to get him back playing games. As a result, they placed him on waivers this afternoon with the intention of sending him to Cleveland (AHL). The team has eight healthy defensemen on its active roster, so there was no immediate opportunity for Goloubef to get in the lineup.
"He needs to play. I'm not sure what's going to happen with waivers…but this is the chance you take," Tortorella said. "He has to go play, and it's not going to be with us right now."
If Goloubef is unclaimed by noon ET tomorrow, the Blue Jackets will be able to assign him to the Monsters.
GOALIE DECISION LOOMING?
After a week off, the Blue Jackets now start a stretch of five games in eight days - which also happens to kick off their first back-to-back (remember those?) of the season. After their game against the Blackhawks, the team flies straight to Dallas, where they'll face the Stars on Saturday night at American Airlines Center.
Could that mean Curtis McElhinney gets a start? Perhaps Anton Forsberg gets called up? Tortorella said he's looking no further than Friday's morning meeting, then the game, and they'll go from there.
Sergei Bobrovsky will start against Chicago.