The Blue Jackets were forced to keep forward Jeff Carter out of the line-up in Edmonton on Friday night, due to a lower-body injury. The injury is believed to be a minor ankle sprain, which he suffered the night before in Calgary, but there has been no official confirmation on that just yet. The reports that have suggested the ankle sprain, also suggest that it is so minor, that he could be able to play on Tuesday, in Montreal, which is the team's next game.
Even in the games he has been able to play, Carter has not been his usual scoring self, which has been a real disappointment for the team this year. In 15 games, he has only picked up 3 goals and 5 assists, which is only good enough for 319th in pool scoring. It hasn't been a good match for him in Columbus, which could amp up the trade talks a little bit more, upon his return.
In the draft, Carter belongs to Munden G., who would likely accept a trade to a better environment for one of his top forwards, as he currently sits in 17th, going into Saturday's action, 12 points behind 16th.
Fortunately for Niklas Backstrom, before he suffered is groin injury, which forced him out of the game against the Devils after the 1st period, the Wild had already scored three goals, so when the final buzzer went at the end of the game and it was a 4-2 victory, he was able to register the win, as the goalie on record for the winning goal. The real unfortunate part is that he was actually injured and forced to leave the game. The initial word is that the injury isn't too serious, but he will miss a few days, which could equate into a couple of starts right now.
The goaltending in Minnesota has been one of the key reasons for their early season success, Backstrom included, as he has 10 wins, 2 shutouts and 2 assists this season, good enough for 26 points and he currently ranks 23rd among all players in pool scoring, 8th among all goalies. That's a very solid start, especially when you consider he has shared a number of starts with Josh Harding this year.
This isn't good news for Leon G., who is trying to keep that gap between himself and Munden alive in 16th spot, while also trying to chase down a tight group, as Leon only sits 13 points out of 11th spot, which would be one good week away from closing in on the top 10. Backstrom hasn't been guaranteed starts, but he has been good in his, so one or two starts isn't much, but if it gets to be any more than that, I would consider this to be a big loss.