The Columbus Blue Jackets have languished without Patrik Laine, dropping three straight games, but with only four contests left on the docket and nothing left to play for, there may be no need to bring him back before the end of the season.
The same is true for Zach Werenski, who hasn’t played since April 17 against the Anaheim Ducks after suffering an upper-body injury just a few minutes into the contest.
Aaron Portzline confirmed that Laine would miss his fourth straight game and Werenski his third Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers.
#CBJ Zach Werenski and Patrik Laine both already ruled out for Sunday vs. Edmonton— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) April 23, 2022
Werenski is the leader on defense, while Laine played top-line minutes with the forwards. Their absences have forced other players into more prominent roles.
The Jackets’ top defensive pairing consists of Jake Bean and Andrew Peeke, with the first line featuring Gustav Nyquist, Jakub Voracek, and Jack Roslovic.
The injuries could be impacting their standing in the betting market as FanDuel Sportsbook has the Blue Jackets priced as substantive +220 underdogs against the Oilers.