February 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick (22) scores against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason (1) at Nationwide Arena. Colorado won the game 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
March 1, 2012 - 9:00pm EST
Pepsi Center - Denver, Colorado
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Mile High Hockey
The Jackets are back on the road after an extended time at home, and they get to see a familiar foe; the Avalanche came into Nationwide on Friday and thumped the Jackets to the tune of 5-0. Columbus limped into the trading deadline, and despite playing about 42 minutes of solid hockey on Tuesday, are coming off of three straight disheartening losses.
James Wisniewski is questionable tonight with a leg injury (which would be the title of his 2011-2012 season review, I think) which means Aaron Johnson should draw in with Jack Johnson... I'm not going to make the toiletries joke. Steve Mason is back in net tonight, as well. Neither he nor Curtis Sanford has been especially solid of late.
The Avs are a team on the cusp of a playoff spot, and they have been playing inspired hockey of late. It's going to be a--wait for it--uphill climb for the Jackets tonight in the Mile High City.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(18-38-7, 43 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)
|R.J. Umberger||Derick Brassard||Rick Nash|
|Vinny Prospal||Mark Letestu||Cam Atkinson|
|Colton Gillies||Derek MacKenzie||Derek Dorsett|
|Ryan Russell||Darryl Boyce||Ryan Johansen|
|Fedor Tyutin||Nikita Nikitin|
|Jack Johnson||Aaron Johnson|
|John Moore||Brett Lebda|
(33-27-4, 70 Points; 2nd Division, 9th Conference)
|Matt Duchene||Paul Stastny||Milan Hejduk|
|Gabriel Landeskog||Ryan O`Reilly||Steve Downie|
|Jamie McGinn||Mark Olver||David Jones|
|Cody McLeod||Jay McClement||Peter Mueller|
|Erik Johnson||Shane O`Brien|
|Jan Hejda||Ryan Wilson|
|Matt Hunwick||Stefan Elliott|
Head to Head
Colorado Columbus 2.52 (20) GPG 2.27 (28) 2.69 (16) GAPG 3.29 (29) 18.7% (12) PP% 16.7% (18) 81.9% (18) PK% 75.7% (30) Gabriel Landeskog, 18 G leader Rick Nash, 22 Ryan O'Reilly, 34 A leader Vinny Prospal, 28 Ryan O'Reilly, 50 Pts leader Rick Nash, 44 Cody McLeod, 136 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 179 18-13-1 Home/Road 7-20-4 2/27 vs. Anaheim, W 4-1 Last Game 2/28 vs. Detroit, L 5-2 7-2-1 Last 10 3-6-1
Columbus has 19 games to go, and are going to have to find some kind of magical powers not to limp home below 50 points. Breaking their franchise record for season point total (low) is still staring them in the face, so we'll see how much pride they have.