Game 42 Preview: New Day Rising (Updated with Lines)

Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks

January 10, 2012 - 8:30pm EST
United Center - Chicago, Illinois
Radio - WWCD FM 102.5 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Second City Hockey

I know I usually save the music references for my recaps, but since my new baby prevents me from doing those for the most part, we're going with one for this preview. And I think it's an apt one. With the firing of Scott Arniel, what more can be said than it's a new day rising? And, what's also fitting is that the song of the same name by Hüsker Dü is really nothing more than aggressive, organized chaos over the repeated refrain of "new day rising."

In other words, let's not assume that Arniel's departure is going to do any more than re-arrange some deck chairs on the Titanic. Who knows? My favorite Todd Richards quote in the aftermath was this: "I don’t owe anybody anything at this stage." Damn right, sir. I want to see the lineup that best gives the team a chance to win. I don't want personal vendettas and opaque discussions about a guy's play to relegate him to the press box or the fourth line (Brassard, Johansen). Whether that comes through, who knows?

On to the game. The Blackhawks are scuffling a bit, having lost four straight and five of six (1-4-1), and also having lost Patrick Sharp to injury on Sunday. Not that that matters much. The Jackets will be without Jeff Carter, who is added to the list of walking wounded after having his shoulder separated on Sunday in Anaheim. Holy hell, what will the lines look like *this* time?

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(11-25-5, 27 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

(Lines based on Shawn Mitchell's morning lines Tweet)

Vinny Prospal Derick Brassard Rick Nash
Ryan Johansen Antoine Vermette Tomas Kubalik
R.J. Umberger Samuel Pahlsson Derek Dorsett
Ryan Russell Derek MacKenzie Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Nikita Nikitin
Marc Methot Grant Clitsome
John Moore David Savard
Curtis Sanford
Steve Mason

Chicago Blackhawks
(24-13-5, 53 Points; 3rd Division, 5th Conference)

Viktor Stalberg Jonathan Toews Patrick Kane
Andrew Shaw Michael Frolik Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell Dave Bolland Ben Smith
Andrew Brunette Jamal Mayers Jimmy Hayes
Duncan Keith Brent Seabrook
Nick Leddy Niklas Hjalmarsson
Steve Montador Sean O`Donnell
Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

Season Series

10/29/11 - Columbus 2 at Chicago 5 - RECAP
11/10/11 - Chicago 6 at Columbus 3 - RECAP
12/26/11 - Columbus 1 at Chicago 4
01/10/12 - Columbus at Anaheim
02/18/12 - Chicago at Columbus
03/20/12 - Chicago at Columbus

By The Numbers

Scoring
CBJ - 2.34 G/G (27th)
CHI - 3.10 G/G (6th)

Defense
CBJ - 3.24 GA/G (27th)
CHI - 2.86 GA/G (20th)

Power Play
CBJ - 14.5% (23rd)
CHI - 17.9% (15th)

Penalty Kill
CBJ - 75.7% (29th)
CHI - 78.0% (26th)

I sat here staring at my "Game Notes" heading, and couldn't think of a single thing that really mattered to me. Scott Arniel is out. Todd Richards is in. This Jackets club is totally banged up both physically and most likely emotionally. Chicago is ticked off and desperate. It's going to get ugly, methinks.

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