The Stretch Run

Today was our first dose of “Life After the All Star Game”, and for those who enjoyed the snow day, it wasn’t so bad. Many others returned to the doldrums of their day job and received the mid-day news of Bob’s injury timetable (4 to 6 weeks). Not the greatest news, but expected after the injury in the last game prior to the break versus Winnipeg.

The injury to arguably the Jackets’ best player couldn’t have come at a worst time with just 34 days until the trade deadline. The other daunting aspect is the VERY steep hill to climb.

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14 Points… 14 points and a tough stretch of games including a 5 game roadie to the Islanders, Flyers, Pens, Canadiens, and Rangers, and a fan “favorite”; a 3 game Western Canada trip to Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary in mid-March. The deep hole, rough schedule, and injury bug all come together to make all Jacket-Backers groan.

The famous Sports Club Stats gives the CBJ a 0.4% chance of making the post season, better than being 0.0%, right?

Sir Bob isn’t likely to return until sometime around March 3rd-10th, potentially well after the Jackets have completely fallen out of contention. Of course, someone like Anton Forsberg or Curtis McElhinney could have something to say about that, and it’s about time the injury bug bit another team in the Eastern Conference.

I was a beneficiary of the previously mentioned snow day and made the trip downtown to catch practice this afternoon. Completely outing myself here: the last time I attended a regular-season practice, Ken Hitchcock was still the coach. That being said, it was an absolute pleasure to see both Artem Anisimov and Ryan Murray back on the ice. Both looked quick and moved well considering the severity of their sustained injuries. The best part of practice to me was seeing the guys having fun. They know what lies ahead, they’ve been there, and every time we have seen the Blue Jackets with their backs against the wall, they’ve responded in a big way.


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