The Columbus Blue Jackets are praying they escape this season without any further injuries. Following Wednesday’s 5-0 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus winger Cam Atkinson had his wrist cut by the skate of teammate Alex Wennberg when they players were leaving the bench. Atkinson required 10 stitches and may be out for the rest of the regular season.
Entering play Wednesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets had players miss 499 games this season, according to Man Games Lost. As they took the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the counter officially turned over to the half-millenium mark, which is the most of any team in the NHL this season.
But even in a 5-0 victory over Toronto, and in the midst of one of the hottest — yet ultimately ill-timed — streaks of the season in which the Blue Jackets have gone 13-1-1 in their last 15 games, yet another injury struck. This time, it was to Cam Atkinson, one of the few players who has been able to suit up for 70-plus games for Columbus this year.
As the Blue Jackets leapt over the bench to go congratulate goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on his shutout, the skate of teammate Alex Wennberg sliced Atkinson’s wrist, reported the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline. The clip below shows when the injury occurred, but, thankfully, does not show the severity:
In the clip above, you can’t see the exact cut or the resulting injury, but you can see Atkinson’s reaction as Wennberg goes to step over the boards. While it looks like it would be a simple nick from the skate, Portzline reported the Blue Jackets dressing room didn’t seem to up about the win after the game.
There might be good reason for that, too. According to Portzline, Atkinson’s status for the Blue Jackets’ two remaining games is unknown, but it took ten stitches for the cut to be closed.
Atkinson had missed three games this season with an upper body injury, but that he had been in the lineup for 76 games this year put him in the top five for games played on a Blue Jackets team that has been depleted by injuries this season.
As of April 7, Man Games Lost reported Columbus’ games lost specifically to team reported injury at 377. That’s not only the highest total this season, it’s the fourth highest reported total since 2009-10. Last season, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost 509 games, the 2011-12 Montreal Canadiens lost 391 and the 2009-10 Edmonton Oilers lost 456.