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Columbus’ McElhinney starts run as No. 1 with shutout


James OBrien

Once word broke that Sergei Bobrovsky would miss four-to-five weeks with a groin injury, many wondered if the Columbus Blue Jackets could trust journeyman backup Curtis McElhinney to carry the mail. He passed his first test on Friday.

McElhinney shut the Minnesota Wild out tonight as the Blue Jackets cruised to a 4-0 victory (Columbus generated a 41-20 shot disparity).

The Blue Jackets note that this is his first shutout in almost exactly two years. The 30-year-old is just 2-3-1 this season, yet he’s done well individually in his very limited opportunities. With Bobrovsky likely out until we hit 2014, this is a promising start, even if the numbers indicate that the Blue Jackets made life pretty easy for him.

That’s not necessarily a common theme of his recent life experiences, as McElhinney’s had a tough go of things even compared to other goalies who bounce between the NHL and AHL.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline adds background on the horrific injury McElhinney suffered two seasons ago, when he tore both his groin muscles and cracked his pubic symphysis.

He said: “It’s hard to do that short of an impact injury (car accident) or a freak accident. That’s coming apart like boiled chicken.”

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 6, 2013

/Imagines PHT readers getting up from the kitchen table and sadly throwing boiled chicken meals in the trash ...

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