COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 27: Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff #34 of the Calgary Flames makes the save in front of Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during their game at Nationwide Arena on December 27, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. The Flames defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1.(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
March 18, 2012 - 8:00pm EDT
Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, Alberta
Radio - WBNS FM 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline
Well, another oddity of this season: Columbus can finish their season series against Calgary without having lost in regulation, provided of course they don't do so tonight. The Jackets are 2-0-1 against the Flames so far this season, including a game in which they came back to win in a shoot-out after being down 3-1 with just a few minutes remaining. In fact, for a Flames team currently in 11th and just a few points out of a playoff berth, one could argue that their play against the lowly Jackets might be their reason for being on the outside looking in.
Columbus is playing out the string, but at least isn't rolling over for anyone ("You can't say we didn't play hard." --James Wisniewski, last night). After a spirited effort in Vancouver last night, they don't get much time to recuperate. However, it can be said that the worst team in the league--with 20 more regulation losses than wins--is not going quietly into the good night.
Calgary will be a desperate team tonight, coming off a loss on Friday to Edmonton and currently sitting in 11th, but just two points behind 8th-place San Jose. Calgary has reshaped their roster (there's that word again) since the last time we saw them, but injuries have made a mish-mash of their lineup. For Columbus, not much change from last night: Dane Byers is down to Springfield, and Ryan Russell should be back in.
What it all comes down to is: can the Jackets solve nemesis Miikka Kiprusoff enough to win?
Columbus Blue Jackets
(22-42-7, 51 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)
|R.J. Umberger||Derick Brassard||Rick Nash|
|Vinny Prospal||Mark Letestu||Cam Atkinson|
|Colton Gillies||Ryan Johansen||Derek Dorsett|
|Ryan Russell||Darryl Boyce||Jared Boll|
|Jack Johnson||James Wisniewski|
|Aaron Johnson||Nikita Nikitin|
|John Moore||Brett Lebda|
(34-26-12, 80 Points; 3rd Division, 11th Conference)
|Alex Tanguay||Matt Stajan||Jarome Iginla|
|Curtis Glencross||Olli Jokinen||David Moss|
|Sven Baertschi||Greg Nemisz||Tom Kostopoulos|
|Guillaume Desbiens||Roman Horak||Blake Comeau|
|Jay Bouwmeester||Cory Sarich|
|Mark Giordano||Scott Hannan|
|Derek Smith||Anton Babchuk|
11/21/11 - Calgary 1 at Columbus 4 - RECAP12/04/11 - Columbus 4 at Calgary 3 - SO - RECAP12/27/11 - Calgary 2 at Columbus 1 - SO -RECAP03/18/12 - Columbus at Calgary
Head to Head
Calgary Columbus 2.47 (23) GPG 2.27 (27) 2.64 (14) GAPG 3.17 (29) 17.7% (13) PP% 15.1% (25) 83.5% (10) PK% 76.2% (30) Jarome Iginla, 31 G leader Rick Nash, 24 Olli Jokinen, 37 A leader Vinny Prospal, 33 Jarome Iginla, 62 Pts leader Rick Nash, 47 Tim Jackman, 88 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 192 20-10-5 Home/Road 9-23-4 3/16 @ Edmonton, L 3-1 Last Game 3/17 @ Vancouver, L 4-3 6-3-1 Last 10 4-6-0