The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without their captain for the foreseeable future. Boone Jenner has been placed on injured reserve after fracturing his jaw in Friday's victory over the St. Louis Blues, the team announced on Saturday.
In the second period, a shot from Blue Jackets defenseman Ivan Provorov hit Jenner in the face, and he left the game. Now, Columbus has placed Jenner on injured reserve, and he is expected to miss six weeks.
This is a major blow for a Blue Jackets team that is already near the bottom of the NHL standings. Aside from his leadership in the locker room, Jenner was pacing the Jackets with 13 goals, and his 18 points were second on the team. Columbus was already struggling offensively, but those woes are about to get even worse.
If the team is going to avoid cratering in Jenner's absence, Patrik Laine and Johnny Gaudreau will have to step up and start finding the back of the net more often. Those two have combined for just nine goals despite being two of the highest-paid players on the roster.
With Jenner on the shelf, it will provide an even bigger opportunity for rookie Adam Fantilli, who has started to heat up lately. In his past five games, Fantilli has three goals and six points. Perhaps he can fill Jenner's shoes as the No. 1 center in Columbus for the next six weeks.