Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blue Jackets Away From the Line-Up

A groin injury has forced Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason to take a couple days off from the ice, as the team called up David Leneveu on Monday to fill in as Mathieu Garon's back-up. The groin injury isn't considered to be major, the move to not dress Mason looks to be nothing more than a precautionary measure. It is believed that Mason would like to get back into the Blue Jackets' net before the weekend, but that remains to be seen.

In other Columbus news, they also made Anton Stralman into a healthy scratch on Tuesday night, as the team hosted the Coyotes. Stralman has been fingered as another player that hasn't been playing up to expectations, so the move to make him a healthy scratch was somewhat of a statement.

Mason has had a real up-and-down season with the Blue Jackets, as the team wants to lean on him as their number one goalie, but he has only shown flashes as the guy he needs to be for the team.  Mason has appeared in 26 games for the Blue Jackets, picking up a record of 12-11-1, with only 1 shutout and 1 assist for 27 points this season.  His 27 points are only good enough for 118th in pool scoring this season and his injury won't help those numbers very much.

Stralman's numbers have also suffered this year, in comparison to his scoring pace from last season.  The offensive-minded defenseman has only picked up 10 assists in 33 games.  Stralman currently ranks 422nd in pool scoring, but does have an easy road to travel upwards, with only a minimal amount of points need to climb into the top 300.

ImplicationsBoth Mason and Stralman have been drafted this season, but they both belong to teams in the bottom half of the standings. Mason is the top goalie for Wes' 17th ranked team, while Stralman is part of Jani's second defense pairing on the 15th ranked team in the pool.  Unfortunately, these movements in the pool don't have a lot of pull in the money race, rather a sticking point likely to drag them a little further down in the standings.
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