Game Preview #19 - Pushing Through At Home

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Jackets have been tough luck losers for two road games in a row. Can they put it all together at home against the Habs?

Montreal Canadiens at Columbus Blue Jackets

November 15, 2013 - 7:00pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Eyes On The Prize
SBN's Canadiens vs Blue Jackets Coverage

So. just as a kickoff caveat, the lineups below are total guesses. The Jackets didn't skate this morning, and there have been no official announcements as of this time.

Despite all of our grumbling, the Jackets have points in three straight (1-0-2), and tonight would give them a chance to add to that streak. Remember, this is how it started last season: some close losses in which they earned a point, and all of a sudden that had a crazy-long points streak that pushed them back into the race. I'm not saying, just saying.

The Jackets played about as well as they can play for most of the third period last night, and though they couldn't get the game-winning goal across, you have to feel that they took some steps forward. Now, if they can just play that way for 60 minutes.

The Habs have been off since Tuesday, but they have been scuffling of late as well: 4-6-2 over their last 12 games, not exactly setting the world on fire. That said, we know a dangerous team is in there somewhere: they showed it early in the last meeting between these two clubs. If the Jackets can better navigate that first 20 minutes while they find there legs against a fast team [gulp], then I like their chances.

That said, it's a might big "if" there.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(6-10-2, 14 Points; 8th division, 14th conference)

Brandon Dubinsky Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger Artem Anisimov Marian Gaborik
Derek MacKenzie Mark Letestu Blake Comeau
Nick Foligno Michael Chaput Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin David Savard
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Montreal Canadiens
(9-8-2, 20 Points; 5th Division, 7th Conference)

Michael Bournival Tomas Plekanec Brian Gionta
Alex Galchenyuk Lars Eller Brendan Gallagher
Max Pacioretty Danny Briere Rene Bourque
Alexei Emelin David Desharnais Ryan White
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Josh Gorges Raphael Diaz
Douglas Murray Francis Bouillon
Peter Budaj
Carey Price

Season Series

10/17/13 - Columbus 3 at Montreal 5
11/15/13 - Montreal at Columbus
03/20/14 - Columbus at Montreal

Head to Head Stats

Montreal Columbus
2.58 (17) GPG 2.50 (20)
2.10 (4) GAPG 2.94 (22)
23.6% (3) PP% 17.5% (19)
85.9% (6) PK% 80.4% (23)
Brendan Gallagher, 8 G leader four tied, 5
P.K. Subban, 14 A leader James Wisniewski, 12
P.K. Subban, 17 Pts leader Brandon Dubinsky, 15
George Parros, 32 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 36
4-4-0 Road/Home 4-6-0
11/12 vs. Tampa Bay, L 2-1 (OT) Last Game 11/14 @ Boston, L 3-2 (OT)
4-4-2 Last 10 3-5-2

Game Notes

Rather than a bulleted list, I'll just say this: this Jackets team isn't playing "badly" per se. They need to finish their chances. It won't be easy against a tough goalie who's playing well. They also need to continue to improve the sloppiness in their own zone. Montreal can punish them if they're bad in their own zone again. I feel like the Jackets *can* win this game, but they're going to have to play like they did in the first period against Detroit, and yet bury those chances. An 18-shot period with no goals just isn't going to cut it.

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