A lot has happened with the Blue Jackets in the past couple days.
They were humbled in a 7-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena, which was the second time in a week they'd come away from a loss questioning their own effort. They also lost veteran center Brandon Dubinsky for 6-to-8 weeks with a fractured orbital bone in his face, which he sustained in a fight at the end of that game - further challenging a team that lacked center depth.
They also had another Metropolitan Division opponent to play Thursday night on home ice, with the New York Islanders in town trailing by two points in the standings. Amid that short-term landscape, Jarmo Kekalainen met with a group of reporters prior to puck drop.
The Jackets' general manager said they'd experiment with options already on the roster to replace Dubinsky, starting with Boone Jenner, and that he'd stay patient with a group of veterans fighting through early-season slumps.
"There's a lot of guys that are unhappy with their performance so far, maybe even embarrassed, I don't know ... but those guys want to get back to their level," he said. "They don't need us to spank their bottoms to get back to their old level."
He also made it clear the leadership in Columbus isn't going to overreact to Dubinsky's absence.
"I don't think we're going to get into kind of panic mode or anything like that," he said. "It's going to take its time. You always try to find the silver lining in the unfortunate events. Somebody else is going to get a better opportunity, and more ice time, and hopefully we have enough depth to cover his absence."
Kekalaine spoke for about 12 minutes, and had some interesting thoughts on a number of subjects, including his wish that all NHL players wore visors, including Dubinsky.
Read the entire transcript here: