According to Aaron Portzline, Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky suffered a groin strain in last night's game, and is expected to miss around 4-5 weeks. Not surprisingly, the team placed him on injured reserve, effective immediately.
Please pause for a moment, and let yourself freak out as much as you feel is warranted.
First off, in terms of numbers, Bob will miss between 12-15 games, depending on the time he needs to recover. Unfortunately, that's going to include quite a few divisional games, including the upcoming trips to Pittsburgh, New York, and Philadelphia.
It's possible that he could be ready for the road trip starting just before the new year, particularly if the team is targeting the first week of January, but at worst let's say he's back in battery for the game on January 17th vs. the Capitals.
Now, the good news is that this kind of injury normally will heal on its own, and not require surgery, especially if Bob is being given a regimen of stretching and strengthening exercises to help his muscles heal. In the past, Bob has shown the ability to rebound from injuries fairly quickly, so it's even possible that he could be ready a little ahead of schedule, but I suspect the team's medical staff is going to be conservative with him.
The other good news is that while Bob heals, the team in front of him should be getting healthier, too. Nathan Horton has been skating with the team, even if wearing a non-contact sweater, and Derek MacKenzie joined back in today. With Marian Gaborik also working to recover from his own injury, the team will have some significant offensive help coming back into the lineup in the near future, which should ease the workload on Curtis McElhinney and Mike McKenna for the next month.
Assuming all goes well, the team will have the chance to play at full strength for almost 20 games before the Olympic break, and then will be ready to hit the back third of the regular season. If they can keep pace with teams in the Metro that are not named Pittsburgh through December, they'll be in good position to push ahead.
This team isn't done yet by a long shot.