It’s not pleasant for the Columbus Blue Jackets right now. The team has lost standout defenseman Zach Werenski for the remainder of the season and is currently in last place in the Eastern Conference. They suffered a long-term loss of another star player on Monday.
Forward Patrik Laine did not participate in team practice. The forward for the Blue Jackets would be out for three to four weeks with a sprained ankle, it was quickly revealed.
This marks the sixth starter for the Blue Jackets to sustain a long-term injury. Werenski, Adam Boqvist, Justin Danforth, Jakub Voracek, and Nick Blankenburg are now joined on the sidelines by Laine.
“It’s difficult to improve when you’re injured,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen remarked. What should I do? It’s hockey, and it seems like it’s coming at us in waves right now with a few important players. You must simply go play.
Laine reportedly suffered the injury during Saturday’s loss in overtime to the New York Islanders. The forward for the Blue Jackets has missed time due to injury twice now. He left the team’s first game of the year due to an arm injury.
Given the timing, the news is especially upsetting for the Blue Jackets. Laine and fellow star forward Johnny Gaudreau had begun to show signs of developing into the offensive powerhouse that many had anticipated at the start of the year.
On Monday, the news wasn’t all bad for Columbus. After missing some time due to upper body ailments, veteran forward Sean Kuraly and defenseman Erik Gudbranson joined the team again.
That information is not likely to make the pain of losing Laine go away. It will take the involvement of several people. On Tuesday night, the team will host the Philadelphia Flyers and former head coach John Tortorella.