The Columbus Blue Jackets' push for the playoffs is going to get a bit more challenging. The team announced Saturday that rookie defenseman Ryan Murray will miss the next four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee.
Based on that timeline, Murray would likely miss the rest of the regular season and potentially the start of the playoffs if the Blue Jackets manage to get in.
Murray has been a key defenseman for Columbus this season. He has 20 points in 61 games this season while averaging nearly 20 minutes a night. Not having him for the stretch run with the Blue Jackets hovering near a playoff spot will be challenging.
This is the third consecutive season that Murray has been hampered by an injury. Each of his last two seasons in junior hockey were shortened. It's been a run of pretty terrible luck for the 20-year-old rearguard.
Murray's injury further thins a blue line that is missing Nikita Nikitin and Fedor Tyutin, who are both also injured.
The team did acquire Nick Schultz at the deadline, which should help, but missing Nikitin, Tyutin and Murray doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the blue line the Blue Jackets can trot out in these crucial weeks of the season.
As of now, Columbus is three points out of the last playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division and two points away from a wild card slot in the East.