The Springfield Falcons will come out of the All-Star break with a 12-point edge in the Northeast Division standings, but they will do so without two of their three All-Star Game representatives.
The Blue Jackets are looking for a spark after stumbling out of the gate to a 2-4-1 record, good for last in a tough Central Division. Columbus was on a four-game losing streak until Vinny Prospal scored a third period goal to give the Jackets a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars last night.
Offensively, without Rick Nash, the Blue Jackets have lagged, scoring just 13 goals in seven games.
To make matters worse, two other former Falcons standout forwards have come up lame. Cam Atkinson, was recently placed on injured reserve as he nurses a leg injury that he first sustained during the team's abbreviated training camp after the lockout ended and Matt Calvert didn't play after leaving pre-game warm ups last night. He was placed on injured reserve today, according to ESPN.
If Columbus is looking for offensive output, they may have something in Audy-Marchessault, who scored a goal in the East's 7-6 win in the All-Star Game. "JAM" has been on a torrid pace in his first season with the Falcons after spending last year 40 minutes to the south with the Connecticut Whale. He leads the Falcons with 45 points - good for third in the league - and 29 assists - also third in the league - in 42 games.
Erixon's assignment to Springfield after training camp was a bit of a surprise, given how well he was playing at the AHL level and the fact that he was one of the pieces that Columbus got back from the New York Rangers when they dealt away Nash.
Erixon continued to play well for Springfield and is tied for fourth among Falcons scorers and fifth among AHL defensemen with 29 points. His five goals are a career high and his 24 assists tie him for second on the team with forward Nick Drazenovic.
He also carries a plus-9 plus-minus rating and could provide some sort of spark on the back end for the Blue Jackets's lackluster blue line.
No Columbus blue-liner has more than two points or a plus-minus rating higher than minus-one. Former Falcon John Moore has struggled, managing just four shots and no points while playing no more than 16 minutes a game. David Savard, who was also called up from the Falcons for training camp and stuck with the team, has not seen any game action this season.