Game 8 Preview: Just Win, Baby!

Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators

October 22, 2011 - 7pm EDT
Scotiabank Place- Kanata, Ontario
Radio - WBNS FM 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Silver Seven
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The Jackets have to win one eventually, right? Though tonight's game is the second in as many days, the Jackets have a very good chance of coming away with a "W". Ottawa is 2-5-0 to start the season, but these aren't the run-and-gun Sens from years past. While they still feature high-end talent like Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, they are in a transition phase (if you say "rebuilding" to a Sens fan they get red in the face and start stomping their feet) and lack depth up front, and their goaltending is suspect with the streaky Craig Anderson.

The Jackets have struggled mightily, we all know that. They are dealing with injuries throughout the lineup, but a 60 minute effort from every player, and a good game from Steve Mason should lead the team to their first win of the season. Sometimes, the best tonic for getting a team off a lengthy losing streak is to have a blowout win. It gives the squad confidence, and puts their minds in the right place. I'm not saying the Senators are going to get walloped by the Jackets tonight, but the Sens have shown on various occasions this season that they are prone to giving up a lot of goals. If the Jackets can pot a few (at least more than two....yikes) and come away wth the win, it could be the start of a new streak, in the other direction.

Projected Lineups

(Note: Lines are based on combinations used in practice yesterday and are subject to change)

Columbus Blue Jackets
('10-'11: 34-35-13, 81 Points; 5th division, 13th conference)

R.J. Umberger
Derick Brassard
Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal
Antoine Vermette Alexandre Giroux
Maksim Mayorov
Samuel Pahlsson Derek Dorsett
Derek MacKenzie
Ryan Johansen
Cody Bass

Fedor Tyutin David Savard
Marc Methot Grant Clitsome
Kris Russell
Aaron Johnson

Steve Mason
Allen York

Ottawa Senators
('10-'11: 32-40-10, 74 Points; 5th Division, 13th Conference)

Colin Greening
Jason Spezza
Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno
Mika Zibanejad
Daniel Alfredsson
Erik Condra
Zack Smith
Chris Neil
Stephane Da Costa Jesse Winchester
Zenon Konopka

Chris Phillips
David Rundblad
Sergei Gonchar
Jared Cowen
Erik Karlsson
Filip Kuba

Craig Anderson
Alex Auld

By The Numbers ('10-'11 Season)

Scoring
OTT - 2.32G/G (29th)
CBJ - 2.56 G/G (24th)

Defense
OTT - 2.99GA/G (24th)
CBJ - 3.05 GA/G (26th)

Power Play
OTT - 17.5% (15th)
CBJ - 14.0% (29th)

Penalty Kill
OTT- 83.7% (9th)
CBJ - 80.3% (22nd)

Game Notes:

  • The Jackets will be without Mark Dekanich, Jeff Carter, Kristian Huselius, Radek Martinek, Jared Boll and Curtis Sanford tonight, due to injury.
  • Tonight is the last game of James Wisniewski's suspension.
  • The Senators currently sit 12th in the NHL in goals per game at 2.71, while the Jackets are tied for 25th with a 2.00.
  • Ottawa is dead last this season, giving up 4.71 goals per game. Columbus is 27th, at 3.43.
  • Though he was a non-factor in the scoring last night, Rick Nash still leads the Jackets with seven points in seven games.
  • Want to know something somewhat disturbing? Aaron Johnson, who has only played in 3 of the Jackets first three games, is third in team scoring behind Nash and Prospal. GIve me a break.
  • Grant Clitsome continues to lead the Jackets in average time-on-ice.
  • Milan Michalek is off to a strong start for the Sens, leading them in scoring with eight points in seven games, tied with Spezza and Karlsson.
  • The Sens feature two of the league's most annoying, agitating players in Neil and Konopka. The latter is a former Jacket, and will no doubt be looking to piss the away team off.
  • Good luck, Jackets. Get that first win boys!
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