Game 48 Preview: What Do We Have on the Ship That's Good?

If I had the Photoshop skills, he'd be pointing to a list of injured Blue Jackets - Apollo 13 copyright Universal Pictures; image via www.monstersandcritics.de

Columbus Blue Jackets at Nashville Predators

January 23, 2012 - 8:00pm EST
Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tennessee
Radio - WBNS FM 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: On the Forecheck

For real. I can't remember a time where the Jackets had this many injuries, all of which seem to have come from freak accidents or dirty hits. The good news is that Porty is reporting that Nikita Nikitin's knee injury doesn't appear to be serious (which, if you watch the hit, holy crap did he get lucky). That said, here's the Jackets' injury list for tonight's game:

C Derek MacKenzie (illness), probable); D James Wisniewski (left ankle), D Radek Martinek (concussion), D Nikita Nikitin (left knee), LW Kristian Huselius (groin), C Mark Letestu (right hand) and C Jeff Carter (right shoulder), out; RW R.J. Umberger (concussion, questionable

Yikes. It should be noted that the CBJ did activate Umberger from IR this morning, and also recalled Dane Byers. Given MacKenzie's illness, it wouldn't surprise me to see some shuffling of the lines below.

The Predators appear to be getting Ryan Suter back on defense. The OTF guys speculate as to whether goalie Anders Lindback might get the start tonight for Nashville, given that the Preds have another big tilt with Chicago tomorrow.

This is the Jackets' last meeting with Nasvhille this season, which is kind of nice when you think about it. Odd that it's in late-January, but dem's da breaks.

And [drumroll] finally, tonight should mark the debut of Brett Lebda. Porty has him drawing in on the top pairing with Fedor Tyutin. Kill me now.

[update] Shawn Mitchell is reporting that Steve Mason is starting tonight in goal.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(13-28-6, 32 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

Vinny Prospal Antoine Vermette Rick Nash
Tomas Kubalik Derick Brassard Ryan Johansen
Ryan Russell Samuel Pahlsson Derek Dorsett
Colton Gillies Derek MacKenzie Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Brett Lebda
Marc Methot John Moore
Grant Clitsome Aaron Johnson
Steve Mason
Curtis Sanford

Nashville Predators
(28-16-4, 60 Points; 4th Division, 6th Conference)

Colin Wilson David Legwand Patric Hornqvist
Sergei Kostitsyn Mike Fisher Martin Erat
Gabriel Bourque Nick Spaling Jordin Tootoo
Jerred Smithson Craig Smith Brandon Yip
Ryan Suter Shea Weber
Roman Josi Kevin Klein
Jack Hillen Ryan Ellis
Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback

Season Series

10/07/11 - Nashville 3 at Columbus 2 - RECAP
11/19/11 - Columbus 4 at Nashville 3 (OT)
12/08/11 - Nashville 4 at Columbus 3 (OT) - RECAP
12/22/11 - Columbus 5 at Nashville 6 - RECAP
01/17/12 - Nashville 3 at Columbus 0 - RECAP
01/23/12 - Columbus at Nashville

Head to Head

Nashville Columbus
2.71 (13) GPG 2.32 (28)
2.58 (10) GAPG 3.19 (29)
21.7% (2) PP% 14.9% (21)
83.1% (12) PK% 76.8% (29)
Patric Hornqvist, David Legwand, 13 G leader Rick Nash, 16
Shea Weber, 23 A leader Vinny Prospal, 21
Martin Erat, Shea Weber, 33 Pts leader Rick Nash, 32
Jordin Tootoo, 62 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 109
15-7-3 Road/Home 5-15-3
1/21 vs. Chicago, W 5-2 Last Game 1/19 @ Detroit, L 3-2 (SO)
8-2-0 Last 10 3-6-1

Game Notes:

  • Score Goals - Call it a cop out if you will, but this is my note for tonight's game. Score a goal, will ya?

The Jackets are literally limping to the All Star Break, though some relief should be coming after the time off. Umberger is close, Nikitin may not be hurt that badly, and then the trade deadline will be the hot topic of conversation. In the meantime, let's hang around tonight, and maybe give the red-hot Preds a nice big shit-burger to eat. Yeah, I went with "Major League". Enjoy the game!

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