Columbus Blue Jackets: Marian Gaborik's Injury Adds to Their Problems

By Jeff Ekiert
Marian Gaborik
Russell LaBounty- USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Columbus Blue Jackets could have arguably been the best story of the NHL. They missed the playoffs by a thread and Sergei Bobrovsky represented well for the team winning the Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender in the league.

Even though they missed out on the playoffs in 2013, they were expected to get even better this year after acquiring Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers later last season. This is a young team with limited talent throughout the lineup and a defense that is too vulnerable.

A seven-time 30-goal scorer and three-time 40-goal scorer, Gaborik has served as one of the bigger assets to his respective clubs. So far this season with Columbus he has scored five goals and 11 points in 17 games. His presence is needed on a team that struggles scoring on a consistent basis.

Not only is Gaborik going to be missed five-on-five, but their power play could take a huge hit over the next month he is out. Out of his 341 career goals, 91 of those have come with the man-advantage.

And playing in a Metropolitan Division that includes powerhouses like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals and the Rangers they will need to find their scoring elsewhere for the next several weeks.

As long as the Blue Jackets maintain their spot in the lower-third of the division, they could find themselves to be sellers when teams come knocking. And with the way playoff qualifications changed this season, there will definitely be a large increase in trades by March.

Jeff Ekiert is the Pittsburgh Penguins/NHL beat writer for Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @jmekiert and add him to your Google account.

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