Ramblings: Duchene Walks To New Team, Laine Breaks Drought (Feb 23)

Ian Gooding

2019-02-23


Duchene Walks To New Team, Laine Breaks Drought, plus more…

Lots to talk about today, and there will be lots more over the next few days, so let’s cut right to the chase…

Several hours after being traded across the Canadian Tire Centre hallway, Matt Duchene made his Blue Jackets debut against his now-former team. Although he was held without a point against the Senators, Duchene was inserted onto the top line alongside Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson. Pierre-Luc Dubois, the regular center for this line, was moved to a line with Oliver Bjorkstrand and Anthony Duclair. Dubois’ value could take a hit over the final quarter of the season if Duchene replaces him on the top line.

Here are the Jackets’ line combinations in their first game with Duchene:

#1           23.6%    ATKINSON,CAM – DUCHENE,MATT – PANARIN,ARTEMI

#2           21.5%    DUBINSKY,BRANDON – NASH,RILEY – ROBINSON,ERIC

#3           20%        ANDERSON,JOSH – FOLIGNO,NICK – JENNER,BOONE

#4           19%        BJORKSTRAND,OLIVER – DUBOIS,PIERRE-LUC – DUCLAIR,ANTHONY

Of course, Artemi Panarin was in the Blue Jackets’ lineup on Friday, and it appears he won’t miss any games whether he is traded or not. You have to admire the intestinal fortitude of GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who assuming he does not trade Panarin, is going all in to win a Stanley Cup. There is high risk, though, considering that a) the Jackets are no guarantee to even make the playoffs, and b) Duchene, Panarin, and Sergei Bobrovsky could all leave the Jackets high and dry after the season. But if you have a legit chance to win your keeper league this season, aren’t you employing a similar strategy? Let’s worry about next season next season.  

One notable takeaway from the lines above was the healthy scratching of Alexander Wennberg. Once projected to be the Jackets’ first-line center, Wennberg has just two goals and 23 points all season. Wennberg has not recorded a point over his past seven games, and we know that John Tortorella is not the most patient and nurturing of coaches when it comes to underperforming players. Wennberg was already thought to be a loser in Mike Clifford’s