Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is once again on the shelf with a groin injury, and it is uncertain when he will be able to return.
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Kekalainen Comments on Bobrovsky's Injury
Monday, Jan. 25
"It’s tough to put this in words, because I’ve been assured that there was no way he came back too early either time," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said, via Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. "He was fully healed, with full strength, full range of motion ... everything was back to normal. In everybody’s mind who has worked with him, he was not coming back too early at all."
"I don’t see any reason why that would be the case," Kekalainen said when asked if Bobrovsky could miss the remainder of the season. "This is not a … if you have a major tear, you’re out 6-8 weeks. This is not a major tear. But obviously now that there’s been a little tear twice now, after his bigger one, we’re going to make sure."
Groin Issues Continue to Plague Bobrovsky
Portzline outlined just how much Bobrovsky's groin has hampered him over the past two-and-a-half seasons:
He already missed 16 games this season due to the groin as the Blue Jackets have rolled out four different goalies in their first 48 games.
Despite posting a respectable 2.65 goals-against average, the 2012-13 Vezina Trophy winner has posted an 11-13-1 record this campaign. Much of that is due to the Blue Jackets' struggles this season as they are the worst team in the NHL with 39 points.
Of the league-leading 159 goals allowed by the Columbus defense this year, only 67 have been conceded by Bobrovsky in 27 games. Not much of the blame can fall on him. However, things could be a bit different for the Blue Jackets if he could find a way to stay on the ice.
Bobrovsky's regular backup, Curtis McElhinney, injured his leg on Jan. 4 and has been on injured reserve without a timetable since then. This forced the team to call up 21-year-old Joonas Korpisalo, who has appeared in 10 games.
With Bobrovsky back out, the Blue Jackets have recalled Anton Forsberg from the AHL. The 23-year-old has played in four games with Columbus this season.
Now, the Blue Jackets are facing a foreseeable future with two young, inexperienced goalies as the backstop to a defense that has struggled all season. It seems like a recipe for disaster in Columbus, which was a team with Eastern Conference playoff aspirations heading into the 2015-16 season.
Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.