Ryan Johansen hits Ian Cole (via NHL/YouTube)
If Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen has any frustration with his situation in Columbus, he used it to plaster Penguins defenseman Ian Cole into the boards. The hit was so big it sent Cole through the glass and caused a delay in Monday’s game.
Even if Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen is saying all the right things, he has to be at least a little frustrated with his current situation in Columbus. Johansen has been benched and was a healthy scratch last week. But Johansen is channelling that frustration the right way as he powered through a hit and drove Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Ian Cole through the glass Monday night.
The hit came late in the first period with the Penguins attempting a breakout. With Columbus on the forecheck, Pittsburgh blueliner David Warsofsky spun the puck from the left wing corner back behind the net to Cole, who picked it up on the right wing side. But as soon as Cole got the puck, he was met with a heavy check from Johansen — a check so heavy the glass popped out of place and into the stands.
Thankfully, no one was hurt on the play, though one unlucky fan did take the side of the pane of glass directly in the face.
Johansen throwing his weight around isn’t the most common occurrence — he’s credited with 47 hits through 33 games — and this was easily the biggest hit he’s thrown all year. Unfortunately for Johansen, it didn’t help endear him to the coaching staff. By the time the game was through, Johansen had played just 14:39, good for the sixth-lowest time on ice of his season and nearly three minutes below his season average.
Columbus coach John Tortorella didn’t even ice Johansen in the final 3:37 of the contest, and that was when the Blue Jackets were down two goals with their net empty. Johansen, with six goals and 23 points, is tied with Brandon Saad for the second-most points on the club.
There have been numerous rumors and reports that the Blue Jackets are considering trading Johansen, but nothing has come to pass yet. The 23-year-old pivot has 79 goals and 190 points in 304 games and is in the second-year of a three-year, $12-million deal that pays him $3 million in 2015-16 and $6 million next season.