Columbus CJeff Carter‘s foot fracture, the Blue Jackets have now placed Carter on injured reserve, meaning he’ll be shut down for a week to 10 days.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Columbus is winless in five and has a pretty tough schedule ahead — at Detroit, at Ottawa, home versus Detroit then back on the road to Buffalo and Chicago.
What’s really disconcerting for Columbus, though, is that the injury sounds like a preexisting medical condition from Carter’s time as a Flyer. Jackets GM Scott Howson confirmed as much, saying “it’s close to the fracture that he had a couple years ago in Philadelphia. He has a plate in there with some screws in there, it’s right along the same bone.” And it looks like the Flyers made a great magician’s move by giving Carter the “boot” and sending him to Ohio.
Even with Howson’s savvy diagnosis, this whole situation seems uncertain. Carter first broke his left foot in March 2010, then injured his right foot during the playoffs (it’s the right foot that’s giving him problems now). The only way to fix the issue could be rest and time — which Columbus doesn’t have much of right now.
So how bad are things in Columbus? They’re the last NHL team without a win (0-5-1), James Wisniewski isstill suspended (he’ll be back next Tuesday) and add
that to the talk that teams are calling onplayers like Antoine Vermette and Derick Brassard for trades and the glut of backup goalie injuries (Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford are out for a few weeks with separate ailments while Allen York has a gimpy shoulder) as well as Steve Mason‘s shaky play and you’ve got a major quagmire in Columbus.
The Jackets are just six games into the season but should they be hitting the panic button already? History shows that teams that go winless in their first six games can bounce back from bad starts to make the playoffs. Blue Jackets PR man Ryan Holtmann points out that the 2008-2009 Flyers made the postseasonafter starting in similar horrible fashion, but it’s not a hole teams want to get into right from the start. And the Blue Jackets are nothing like the 2008-2009 Flyers.
For Columbus, getting Wisniewski back in the lineup as well as getting Carter healthy will make differences. Getting everyone else figured out and put in the right place, however, will be tricky. We’ve already seen Cam Atkinson get his shot to be their next scoring winger only to be sent back to the AHL. Alexandre Giroux is getting his chance to do the same now, but no one on Columbus can score regularly.Meanwhile, guys like Brassard, Vermette, and R.J. Umberger are struggling horribly.Add their woes on top of Mason’s in goal and you’ve got a situation that has to change fast. Rick Nash can’t do everything and there is no way that Nash stays healthy when he’s the only reliable one in Columbus.