The news is in for Oliver Bjorkstrand and it isn’t good.
The Blue Jackets forward displayed an expression of discomfort at one point in Friday night’s game against New Jersey. Bjorkstrand was tangled up with a Devils player, but it was unclear what the potential injury was. Still, he did see the game through to the end while scoring two goals in a 5-1 Columbus win.
This morning, things are a lot more clear.
Bjorkstrand suffered a bruised rib/cartilage and strained oblique as the Columbus Dispatch reports that he will be out four to six weeks. The loss will be big for Columbus, a team that has been bitten repeatedly by the injury bug this season. In this case, it’s even worse as Bjorkstrand has been an offensive catalyst on a squad that has otherwise struggled to get the puck past opposing goalies.
The Jackets have called up forward Nathan Gerbe from the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL to fill the void left by they Danish sniper. Considering the Blue Jackets are playing near .500 hockey, that record speaks volumes as their opponent every night has been adversity AND whatever team is on the schedule. Nevertheless, losing Bjorkstrand will be a big subtraction from the roster from now well into the depths of January.