Well, here we are in the Eastern Conference, and across the ice is our old friend/nemesis the Detroit Red Wings. Columbus had a historic year against Detroit last season, winning four of five and losing only in a shootout.
The Wings started out slowly, but have really taken a step forward in their past two games, including winning last night on the road in Boston. Henrik Zetterberg has been strong to start, with five goals in six games thus far. One thing of note for Detroit is that Jimmy Howard is nursing a sore hand, didn't play last night, and isn't expected to play tonight either.
Speaking of, Columbus is battling all kinds of injuries and assorted other roster notes. Matt Calvert is out indefinitely as he prepares for abdominal surgery. Nick Foligno has been away with his wife as they welcomed their first child on Sunday, but will play tonight. Marian Gaborik is battling the flu, but is expected to play tonight. Blake Comeau is still nursing the laceration on his ankle, but he, too, is expected to play. Just in case, Sean Collins and Ryan Craig are on the roster as fill-ins.
On defense, it appears that Nikita Nikitin will play tonight, but no official word on who will sit. My guess is Dalton Prout.
The Jackets, of course, are 2-0-0 on the road, though Detroit is in a bit different class than, say, Buffalo. That said, the team--ever since their last run last season--have really embraced the road-warriors mentality. There may be some blips on the radar in terms of the lineup with the injuries and illnesses, but hopefully these guys can continue to circle those wagons. Surely they remember how great it was to win in Detroit repeatedly last season.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(2-2-0, 4 Points; 4th division, 9th conference)
|Cam Atkinson||Brandon Dubinsky||Marian Gaborik|
|Nick Foligno||Ryan Johansen||R.J. Umberger|
|Boone Jenner||Artem Anisimov||Mark Letestu|
|Blake Comeau||Derek MacKenzie||Jared Boll|
|Fedor Tyutin||Jack Johnson|
|Ryan Murray||James Wisniewski|
|Nikita Nikitin||David Savard|
Detroit Red Wings
(4-2-0, 8 Points; 2nd Division, 3rd Conference)
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Todd Bertuzzi|
|Johan Franzen||Stephen Weiss||Justin Abdelkader|
|Daniel Cleary||Joakim Andersson||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Drew Miller||Luke Glendening||Jordin Tootoo|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Dan DeKeyser||Kyle Quincey|
|Jakub Kindl||Brian Lashoff|
10/15/13 - Columbus at Detroit
03/11/14 - Detroit at Columbus
03/25/14 - Detroit at Columbus
Head to Head Stats
Detroit Columbus 2.67 (17) GPG 2.50 (19) 2.50 (12) GAPG 2.50 (11) 17.6% (21) PP% 23.1% (11) 88.0% (5) PK% 90.0% (4) Henrik Zetterberg, 5 G leader three tied, 2 Daniel Alfredsson, 5 A leader Marian Gaborik, 4 Henrik Zetterberg, 7 Pts leader Marian Gaborik, 6 Jonathan Ericsson / Danny DeKeyser, 6 PIM leader Jared Boll, 10 2-1-0 Home/Road 2-0-0 10/14 @ Boston, W 3-2 Last Game 10/12 vs. Boston, L 3-1 4-2-0 Last 10 2-2-0
We'll tip our caps to the BlueJackets.com staff for some game notes today:
- Tonight is the 75th all-time meetings between the Blue Jackets and the Red Wings.
- Columbus, as we know, was 4-0-1 against Detroit last season and has won six of the last 10 meetings overall/
- Here's a wowzer: Pavel Datsyuk has 65 points (21G, 44A) in 56 career games against the Blue Jackets.
- The Blue Jackets are 10-4-2 in their last 16 road games; they are 21-7-5 in their last 33 games overall.
- Columbus was 24-for-25 (96 percent efficiency) on the penalty kill vs. Detroit last season.
If the Jackets can play like they did against Boston for the most part, I like their chances in a lot of games this season. Tonight will be a good chance to get it started again.