I'd been away from the NHL world for most of the day Thursday, so when I heard on the radio between stops that the Jackets had acquired Brett Lebda Thursday, I figured there was something amiss.
Although it was somewhat of a relief that no one else was hurt, I was saddened to find out Radek Martinek is done.
Seriously, it's like we barely met the guy. The dude played, what... seven games?
Then again, it seems we've hardly gotten to know any of the new guys this year.
James Wisniewski is out with an ankle fracture and missed time with a suspension... and has played in 29 of the CBJ's 46 games.
Jeff Carter is out with a shoulder injury and missed time with another injury... and has played only 30 games.
Mark Dekanich... cripe, we haven't seen him in Union Blue since September in the preseason.
To hell with whether Vinny Prospal should be re-signed. That's a given (at least for me). I'm just wondering if we can insure him!
Obviously, the Jackets did something serious to piss off the hockey gods. Or the long-standing suspicion that they just flat-out hate Columbus may just have some merit to it.
All kidding aside... I know I've said for a long time that I subscribe to the Hitch "Injuries Are No Excuse" school of thought. Still, the injuries to four out of the Jackets' five offseason acquisitions could not come at a worse time, with the CBJ stumbling -- or, given the injury situation, hobbling -- toward mathematical elimination. The fact that at least they won't reach that point in January is not much consolation.
Still, there are bright spots. We're starting to see guys stepping up and playing with some fire again. Is it Todd Richards' influence? Maybe. Is it "playing for your job" mode? Could be.
Stringing a couple wins together for the first time since November sure would come in handy right about now, though.
It's still too early to speculate what happens at the NHL Trade Deadline. Or, maybe that's just me not being willing to let go. Defiant to the end, I guess.
Or... maybe just a little crazy.
Depends... when was the last time an NHL team won 32 out of 36 games?
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