The Jackets held an optional skate Monday at Nationwide Arena following last night's loss to Pittsburgh. Head coach John Tortorella said he wanted his players to have some time away from the rink to clear their heads after the emotional 5-4 overtime loss.
Before taking questions from the media, Tortorella shared that 19-year-old Zach Werenski is out for the remainder of the post-season due to facial fractures he sustained after taking a puck to the face in the second period of Sunday's game.
The defenseman left the game after the initial injury, but returned to the ice for almost seven minutes of play in the third. He did not play in the overtime period but finished the night with a goal, 19:08 TOI, and five total shot attempts, three of which were on target.
Matt Calvert knows a little something about how Werenski may have been feeling. Calvert took a puck to the head in the Nov. 18 game against the New York Rangers. After receiving 36 stiches in his forehead, Calvert returned to play and scored the game-winning goal.
"You're getting how many stitches, you take a puck to the face, and you're so pumped up from playing to begin with, it adds to the adrenaline," Calvert said. "He's a 19-year-old kid in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and he takes one right below the eye. He comes back and battles. When you see a guy do something like that, it's inspirational and it's something we can build off of in here."
Tortorella, who talked to Werenski Monday morning, said the Michigan native was only upset that he couldn't play in Tuesday's Game Four.
"It sucks for him," Tortorella said. "He is on a fast-track path to be one of the mainstays in this league."
Video: John Tortorella on continuing the same approach
Mindset for Game Four.
The Jackets are down 3-0 to the Penguins, and Tuesday's game is a must-win if the team hopes to keep their post-season alive.
"It's something they have to deal with, it's part of the series," Tortorella said. "We will come back tomorrow for 10 a.m. meetings as we always do. And (then) we will play as hard and with the concentration that we're always asking of them. It will be a bigger stage (in Game Four,) obviously. We know we're in a hole, but that doesn't change how we go about our business."
The Jackets know what they're up against, but they remain focused on winning the next game.
Video: Scott Hartnell talks game-by-game mindset
According to hockeyreference.com, teams have come back from a 3-0 series deficit just twice since 1975, but one of those teams was the Philadelphia Flyers who battled back against the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Jackets forward Scott Hartnell was a member of that team, and he shared that experience in the Jackets' locker room today as the group was getting dressed to go out on the ice.
"In 2010, we were backs against the wall," Hartnell said. "The feeling in the room was 'why aren't we winning? We're playing good enough to win.' You stick with that, you're going to get the results… You just trying to look back on your experience and take what you can and pass it on to these young guys and hopefully we can get a big win (tomorrow)."
- Center Lukas Sedlak continues to skate with the team and participated in today's optional skate.
- Tortorella was not yet sure who will draw into Werenski's spot in the lineup for Game Four