The Jackets were dealt a huge blow this afternoon, when it was announced that stud rookie defender Ryan Murray will be out for the rest of the regular season after having knee surgery:
Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 8, 2014
With Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin also out of the lineup, the bulk of the defensive load will be taken up by Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski and David Savard. Holes will be plugged by recent callups Dalton Prout, Cody Goloubef and Frederic St.Denis, while deadline addition Nick Schultz will be looked at to provide a steadying influence on the young players.
The timing couldn't be worse, as the Jackets are in a dogfight for an Eastern Conference playoff berth. Murray was having a terrific rookie season prior to the injury, playing a calm, measured game that allowed defense partner Wisniewski to raise his game.
Here's to a rapid recovery.