Game 30 Preview: Old Friends In Old Places

The second game of the Western Canada swing finds the Jackets in Vancouver, facing former teammates Aaron Rome, Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra, while Scott Arniel looks across the bench at a slew of his former Manitoba Moose players and friends in the Canucks organization.

It's a game that you hope will go a bit better than his last homecoming in Buffalo.

For those of us in Ohio, this game is NOT on Fox Sports Ohio, but will be broadcast on NHL Center Ice or NHL GameCenter Live. It's also Yahoo! Sports' live streaming game of the night for fans in the States

Also, if you're listening on the radio, don't forget that today is the switchover for the former CD101 - 101.FM is now a WOSU station, and your regularly scheduled alternative rock and occasional Blue Jackets broadcasts will be on 102.5FM.

Essentials:

Game Time: 10:00pm EST
TV: Rogers Sports Net West (HD)
Radio: 97.1 WFAN
Blue Jackets vs Canucks coverage
Opponent's Blog: Nucks Misconduct

With Mathieu Garon in net, he'll be staring across the ice at another Olympic hero, Team Canada's Roberto Luongo

Surprisingly, that actually may be good news for the Jackets - Bobby Lu is 7-5-4 against Columbus in his career (4-1-3 at home), and even in a pair of victories last year, the Canucks netminder gave up at least 3 goals a game to the CBJ.

The danger area, however, will be special teams - the Canucks are currently the hottest team in the NHL with the man advantage, while Columbus' penalty kill has struggled of late. 

For all of that, though, these teams are surprisingly close - both have 16 wins on the season so far, and the main difference in the standings is Vancouver's additional two OT/SO losses. 

They're dangerous, they're skilled, and they'll have several guys who know quite a bit about how to get under our skin, but they're still beatable, and this looks like a winnable game where I sit.

Keys To The Game:

  • Get Juiced - Despite a report of a setback that may or may not have been gamesmanship from Scott Arniel, signs indicate that Kristian Huselius could return to the lineup tonight, providing another scoring threat that the Canucks will be forced to deal with.
  • Twin Threats - Henrik and Daniel were the heart of this franchise even before Henrik was named their captain. They continue to stir the drink, offensively, and the Jackets must be aware of where they are on the ice at all times.
  • Faceoffs - Not surprisingly, part of how the Jackets got themselves back in the game on Monday night was taking control of the faceoff dot, and using those faceoffs to build puck possession. Manny Malhotra remains a faceoff king, and the rest of the Canucks aren't slouches down the middle. Fighting for control of the puck early and often is going to be a recurring theme tonight.
  • Don't Get Boxed In - Vancouver's power play is fantastic, but better to avoid giving them opportunities - on Monday night, the team only took three minor infractions all game. That's the kind of performance we need to help minimize their strengths.
  • Grudges: While Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra may want to show off a bit against their former club, it should also be remembered that R.J. Umberger and Ryan Kesler have some longstanding bad blood - don't be shocked if they're in each others faces all night.

Blue Jackets Information:

Team Page  Schedule
Roster Stats

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rick Nash Derick Brassard Jakub Voracek 
R.J. Umberger Antoine Vermette Tom Sestito
Ethan Moreau Samuel Pahlsson Kristian Huselius
Derek Dorsett Kyle Wilson Chris Clark


Jan Hejda Fedor Tyutin
Rostislav Klesla Marc Methot
Mike Commodore Kris Russell


Mathieu Garon
Steve Mason


Vancouver Canucks

Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Alexandre Burrows
Jeff Tambellini Ryan Kesler Mikael Samuelsson
Raffi Torres Manny Malhotra Jannik Hansen
Tanner Glass Alexandre Bolduc Jonas Andersson


Dan Hamhuis Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler Keith Ballard
  Aaron Rome Andrew Alberts
Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider

 

 

Tidbit: Congrats to Ryan Johansen, who was named to Team Canada's roster for the World Junior Championships this morning!

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