Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin has played in over 750 NHL games, so at age 32, nothing really surprises him.
New head coach John Tortorella decided to make him a healthy scratch for the team’s previous two games against Washington and Winnipeg (2-1 and 3-2 defeats), but tonight in San Jose, the veteran blueliner is back in the lineup.
No hard feelings either way. Tyutin wasn’t playing well and this is part of the business, but he will be looked upon to provide a steady presence tonight against a Sharks team that always plays hard and fast in its own building.
On the not-so-good front, center Alexander Wennberg won’t play tonight due to a lower body injury. He is officially listed as day-to-day and is not on the trip, but it’s possible he could return Thursday in Los Angeles or perhaps Friday in Anaheim.
The Blue Jackets are 6-1-1 in their last eight meetings with San Jose, and a solid performance tonight would be a great way to kick off a three-game swing through California.
Monday was back to business after a travel day Sunday; the Blue Jackets gathered at the rink for a full practice, then it was time for some video work as they look to rediscover the structure that helped them in Minnesota, Colorado, New Jersey and Washington.
“We had a work day yesterday. We spent a number of hours here, on the ice and off,” Tortorella said. “There should be no excuses for us not to be ready to play tonight.”
Tortorella, not normally a fan of morning skates – particularly the day after holding a full practice – had a simple explanation for juggling the game day routine.
“I wanted to change it up,” he said. “I’m not a big believer in it (morning skates), but I think at this stage, maybe a change will help us.
“Yesterday was a good day, because we really haven’t had much practice since the changeover. It was a really good day to cover a lot of our structure. We had zero structure against Winnipeg, and when a team struggles, that’s what you need to rely on.”
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