There were a couple of surprises at Blue Jackets practice this morning.
According to a report from the National Hockey League's own Dan Rosen there were 2 notable absences from the Blue Jackets morning skate on Monday. Both forward Josh Anderson and forward Riley Nash were not out on the ice, something that is obviously less than ideal for the Blue Jackets who will be headed into Game 3 all tied up at 1 game a piece. The absence of Nash is obviously the most interesting one here given what transpirred in Game 2 of the second round series between the Blue Jackets and the Boston Bruins.
Nash was the victim of a massive hit at center ice courtesy of Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara in Game 2, a hit that was clearly intended to send a message to Nash and the Blue Jackets. Nash had delivered a massive hit of his own to Boston Bruins forward David Krejci in Game 1 of the series and it seems far too big a coincidence that the Bruins captain would go after him so early in the game like that.
We know that Nash was shaken up as a result of the big hit from Chara because he was forced to retreat to the Blue Jackets locker room following the blow, but he would eventually return to the ice in Game 2. This gave me the impression that Nash had avoided the worst of it, but his absence from practice today suggests to me that he may very well still be feeling the ill effects of that impact from the Boston big man. It may be though that Nash will be good to go in Game 3 and has merely been given the day off to nurse whatever potential injury he received as a result of that hit.
The absences were not the only interesting part of Blue Jackets practice on Monday though, and in fact although they are clearly the most relevant they may not have even been the most interesting. According to Rosen's report none other than retired National Hockey League forward Jared Boll was out on the ice taking line rushes with the fourth line on Monday. Boll was flanked by Boone Jenner and Brandon Dubinsky and I have to wonder if the Blue Jackets are actually thinking of using him in this series. It seems unlikely to me but so does the idea of Jared Boll taking line rushes on the fourth line and yet here we are.
The Jackets would have to sign him to some kind of deal if they do intend to use him, but this one has certainly raised quite a few eyebrows around the league for sure.