Columbus’ season hasn’t gone according to plan and it seems like every bit of good news is met with equal amounts of bad. It was no different Wednesday as the Blue Jackets announced goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky off the injured reserve only to replace him with winger Matt Calvert, who is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
Bobrovksy, 27, has been sidelined for the past 10 games after straining his groin in a Dec. 8 game against the Los Angeles Kings. Without Bobrovsky — who is arguably the Blue Jackets’ best player — Columbus has gone 3-6-1 and fallen further behind the Carolina Hurricanes at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.
Through 25 games this season, Bobrovsky has an 11-12-1 record, one shutout, a 2.52 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. His injury couldn’t have been more ill-timed, though, because Bobrovsky was beginning to turn around his season in a big way after a shaky start to the year.
At the end of October, Bobrovsky had an ugly 3.97 GAA and .865 SP, but he had heated up through November and in December. He had allowed at least three goals against in eight of 10 games in October, but had only been beaten three times or more twice in 15 outings since the beginning of November. In the seven games before he went down with injury, Bobrovsky was sporting a sparkling 1.29 GAA and .956 SP.
Getting Bobrovsky back likely won’t help turn Columbus into a playoff team, but it could help them make up some ground. While the Blue Jackets are only seven points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, they don’t realistically have much of a chance of making up that ground before the post-season rolls around. That said, the chance is infinitely better that Columbus can move up the standings with Bobrovsky between the pipes than it was with the tandem of Curtis McElhinney and youngster Joonas Korpisalo.
In a move that corresponded with Bobrovsky being taken off the IR, Korpisalo was demoted to the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and Calvert was placed on the injured list with what the Blue Jackets are calling a lower-body injury.
Whatever is ailing Calvert, 26, appeared to have happened late in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars. He was hit by Stars blueliner Alex Goligoski late in the third period and Calvert appeared to injure his left leg:
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Calvert headed to the dressing room immediately after taking the knock from Goligoski and did not return to the contest.
In 39 games this season, Calvert has six goals and seven points. Though he’s not a frequent contributor, he’s crucial to the Blue Jackets’ penalty kill and is a fixture on their third line. Losing him hurts Columbus’ depth, and that won’t help the Blue Jackets in their attempt to get back into the post-season race.