Today the Columbus Blue Jackets (33-26-5) announced that defenseman Ryan Murray would be out for four to six weeks due to a surgery he needs to fix a problem he had with his knee. As a rookie this year Murray has scored three goals and has 17 assists; and is currently ranked third amongst all league rookies for blocked shots.
So what will his absence mean for the team that has had many ups and downs this season? The team announced on the 7th that they were recalling defenseman Frederic St. Denis from Springfield. St. Denis has been having a very successful season with the Falcons this year and the Blue Jackets can only hope that he will continue to be successful. Furthermore, while the defense has not been one of the main issues the Blue Jackets have had this season, it will become ever more important that players such as Dalton Prout are going to need to continue to be successful with their plays.
And while I hate to say it; there will be even more pressure placed on the goalies. As the number of games in the regular season continue to dwindle the strength and faith we have in our goalies becomes even more important. When the team loses a player that was expected to bring so much, the goalies are forced to always be playing at the top of their games. But we should have nothing to worry about; Sergei Bobrovsky has been having some exceptional games.
While Murray has not played in a game since March 3rd, prior to the Olympic break he was bringing in an assist in almost every game he played in. This rookie played aggressively and has had quite the showing through his entire career prior to his NHL debut. The presence he had on the ice during the month of January will be missed greatly.
We can only hope the team will be able to recover from the loss and continue to improve on their season.