Game Preview #25 - Welcome Back, Old Friend

Kirk Irwin

The Jackets are back at home, and they welcome an old division foe to town.

Nashville Predators at Columbus Blue Jackets

November 27, 2013 - 7:00 pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 -- TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: On The Forecheck
SBN's Predators vs Blue Jackets coverage
Tickets

Hey, you! I know you! I know you!

The Jackets come back home off a huge win to cap off a strange, strange road trip, and an old familiar foe comes to town. The big question for the Jackets will be: can they build off of Monday's game? Can they take the lessons from that--ya know, that you *can* play for 60 minutes and dictate play to a better team--and bring it home to a team with which they're more familiar?

We shall see.

The Preds aren't the same team we've seen in the past. There's been some roster turnover (hey, it's noted Jackets-killer Viktor Stalberg!), and Pekka Rinne is out with his strange e coli issue in his hip. That said, after last year's implosion, the Preds have rebounded nicely (don't they always?) and are playing decent enough hockey again. They don't score (shocker), and their defense has struggled much more without Rinne, but they're finding ways to win. It's just what they do, people. That said, they're still on the outside looking in in the juggernaut West.

Their scoring is low, and Shea Weber is their leading goal scorer; that's generally not the best thing to have a defenseman leading your team in goals. That said, Weber's not the normal defenseman. Speaking of, as much as we've enjoyed Ryan Murray, we'll also get our first look at Seth Jones tonight. I'm interested to see the big man play. He has nine points in 24 games so far, including five on the Power Play.

For Columbus, the injury train keeps on rolling. Sean Collins finally caught up with the team, and with Jared Boll moving to IR Collins will be here for a bit. The Jackets--obviously--will be icing the same lineup again that they had on Monday. Makes sense. Of note: Jack Skille, fresh off his first point with Columbus, has a pretty decent career body of work against Nashville: four goals on 17 shots, two assists, and 12 hits in nine career games against the Preds. Count me among those who, while wishing Boll a good recovery, isn't in a hurry to see Boll back in the lineup over Skille.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(9-12-3, 21 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)

Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert Artem Anisimov Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger Mark Letestu Blake Comeau
Sean Collins Michael Chaput Jack Skille
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
David Savard Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Nashville Predators
(12-10-2, 26 Points; 6th division, 11th conference)

Colin Wilson Mike Fisher Eric Nystrom
Gabriel Bourque David Legwand Viktor Stalberg
Nick Spaling Matt Cullen Craig Smith
Rich Clune Paul Gaustad Matt Hendricks
Shea Weber Roman Josi
Seth Jones Kevin Klein
Victor Bartley Ryan Ellis
Marek Mazanec
Carter Hutton

Season Series

11/27/13 - Nashville at Columbus
03/08/14 - Columbus at Nashville

Head to Head Stats

Nashville Columbus
2.33 (24) GPG 2.54 (18)
2.79 (20) GAPG 2.92 (23)
21.0% (9) PP% 19.0% (15)
83.5% (12) PK% 78.7% (23)
Shea Weber, 7 G leader Ryan Johansen, 8
David Legwand, 15 A leader James Wisniewski, 16
David Legwand, 19 Pts leader James Wisniewski, 18
Rich Clune, 54 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 40
6-7-1 Road/Home 4-6-1
11/25 vs. Phoenix, W 4-2 Last Game 11/25 @ Toronto, W 6-0
5-5-0 Last 10 4-3-3
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