James Wisniewski might not be in the lineup tonight when the Columbus Blue Jackets play the New Jersey Devils. Coach Todd Richards said that Wisniewski was feeling under the weather this morning and might not be able to go against the Devils. The offensive-defenseman has four points through eight games so far for Columbus, and is averaging more than 20 minutes a night on the blue line.
— NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) October 22, 2013
While Wisniewski can be dangerous as an offensive-defender, he’s already a minus-four on the season and seems to make poor choices with the puck on a nightly basis. While it’s highly unlikely that the Jackets would bench him at any juncture, seeing how the team performs without him could open the door for other players to step in and play bigger minutes.
Columbus has been using rookie Ryan Murray as the defensive anchor on a pairing with Wisniewski, and it will be interesting to see if they try to get the youngster some offensive minutes with Wis sitting out.
He’s a game-time decision though, so all this could be for naught. Still, Wisniewski hasn’t been playing particularly well while healthy, so perhaps it’s better that he takes the game in from a distance for a night.