As it often goes in sports, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news? It certainly looks as though the Blue Jackets are getting two big parts of their lineup back sooner than later. For a second straight day, both Brandon Dubinsky and Alexander Wennberg took part in the full practice, and today, Dubinsky ramped it up a bit further and took reps on a regular line.
In contrast to Monday’s practice where Dubinsky sat out the heavy contact drills, today was a different story. Wennberg was right in there with him, and if one or both is able to play Wednesday night in New Jersey, the Blue Jackets are getting a huge boost at a pivotal point in their season.
They’ve had injury troubles all over the lineup, but the man games lost at center ice have been most glaring. The Blue Jackets have struggled in the face-off circle (and it directly lead to third period trouble against San Jose), and getting two of their top centers back is certainly an injection of good news as they get set for back-to-back divisional games wrapped around Thanksgiving.
“I’m not sure what happens tomorrow, but (Dubinsky) practiced well the last couple of days,” Tortorella said. “We’ll make that decision tomorrow. They’re both very close…we’ll come into the skate tomorrow and see where it goes.”
The bad news is that neither Fedor Tyutin or Rene Bourque are making the trip to New Jersey with the team. Tyutin has not practiced since leaving Friday’s game with an upper body injury, and Bourque missed practice today with an upper body ailment of his own.
Tortorella said both players are considered day-to-day and he didn’t have much of an update beyond that.
UPDATE: Both Dubinsky and Wennberg have been activated off IR, so there stands a good chance both players could return tomorrow against the Devils.
Other things happening today:
- The hour-long practice did feature plenty of work on face-offs, and not just the individual act. There was teaching on the “team win” aspect, with the forwards jumping in to tie up sticks and gain possession, and further, coverages based on wins or losses.
- Some of the Blue Jackets have their own Thanksgiving plans, family coming into town, etc., but for those who don’t, they have a place to go. Nick and Janelle Foligno are hosting a Thanksgiving Day celebration for any of the players and their significant others who want to come over. We’ll have a full story on BlueJackets.com later this week.
- Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start tomorrow against the Devils.
- Two things Tortorella wants to see the Blue Jackets get better at? “We need to be consistently harder and we need to play with pace, and we haven’t been consistent with that,” he said. “I don’t think we have a full understanding of the standard you have to be at every single game. How hard you play and how hard you are and the pace you play with, you can control that."