If the Blue Jackets are to continue their home-ice momentum, they will have to do it (surprise!) the hard way.
Adversity has found its way into the fold once again, in the form of injuries to two defensemen – Cody Goloubef and Fedor Tyutin – in the first period of Friday’s 4-0 win over the Nashville Predators. Goloubef is out indefinitely with a fractured jaw (he had surgery on Saturday at Dublin Methodist Hospital) and Tyutin’s status is considered to be day-to-day.
In the wake of those injuries, the Blue Jackets called up Andrew Bodnarchuk from the Lake Erie Monsters, and he’s a guy they feel can give them some stability in the interim. Bodnarchuk, 27, was signed as a free agent this summer and assigned to Cleveland out of training camp; he’s known for a steady two-way game and for keeping things simple on the back end.
Today’s game against the San Jose Sharks will be Bodnarchuk’s sixth at the NHL level, and he’ll be joined by Dalton Prout, who’s back in after sitting out a few games as a healthy scratch.
Bodnarchuk said pre-game that he’s waited patiently for the opportunity he was told may come, and he’s prepared as if it could happen at any time. His head coach, though, is in the dark when it comes to his newest defenseman.
John Tortorella said he knows nothing about Bodnarchuk or what he can bring. He’ll find out in a couple hours.
A few other pre-game nuggets…
- Tortorella isn’t sure how his defense pairings will shake out with Prout and Bodnarchuk in the lineup tonight. We may have a better idea after warm-ups.
- Sergei Bobrovsky is the starting goaltender for the Blue Jackets. Alex Stalock is expected to start for San Jose.
- Asked about William Karlsson’s game, Tortorella (again) had plenty of praise for his young center. He’s placed him in high-responsibility situations and given him a lot of minutes, and Karlsson has responded in a big way. The only thing Tortorella wishes to see is some offensive consistency from Karlsson, but his chances have been fairly consistent.
- One thing the coach wants to clean up for todays’ game: structure. Tortorella said Friday’s game had “zero structure” and the Blue Jackets’ neutral zone play concerned him.