Game Preview #26 - Will The Real CBJ Please Stand Up?

Chris Austin-USA TODAY Sports

Another game, another Jekyl and Hyde fork in the road. Which team will show up tonight against Edmonton?

Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets

November 29, 2013 - 7:00pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WWCD 102.5 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: The Copper and Blue
SBN's Oilers vs Blue Jackets Coverage
Tickets

Programming note: I'll be joining the Lowdown with Lowetide program on TSN 1260 in Edmonton at 1:00 PM EST today to chat about the game tonight. Give us a listen if you can!

I don't even know how to preview these games anymore, people. The Jackets are 3-3-0 in their last six games. In their three wins, they've outscored their opponents 12-2. In their three losses, they've been outscored 17-2, and have been shut out twice.

One of those shut-outs came in embarrassing fashion 10 days ago against this very same Oilers team. Will the Jackets show some pride and come out and avenge that loss? The Oil played last night in Nashville--the very same team that just shut us out 4-0 on Wednesday--and came away with a convincing 3-0 shut-out win. So, by the transitive property... oh, hell, I'm not going there.

And there's the rub: despite their dreadful overall record, the Oilers are playing pretty good hockey of late. They're 4-1-0 in their last five, and have outscored their opponents 18-3 in the four wins (the one outlier was a 5-1 clunker in Chicago, but hey, it's Chicago, right?).

So, yeah, the Jackets can't have this thing where they just decide not to show up for an entire game happen again to them tonight, or they're going to get skated out of the barn again. The Oilers are scoring goals like crazy of late, and frankly, their defense has turned a pretty major corner. They've cut their team goals-against by about a half-goal in their last four outings, and that includes that five goal outburst by the Hawks.

The Jackets certainly have the advantage of fresher legs and not having had to travel, but that doesn't seem to mean anything these days. One game they're world-beaters, the next they don't even show up. It's been every-other for the past six, so they're due for a good one. That said, this Oilers team gives them all kinds of fits, no matter what the records are.

In roster news, Sean Collins is back in Springfield, as the newly-claimed Corey Tropp will get his first Blue Jackets start tonight on the fourth line. Brandon Dubinsky skated this morning, but is still on IR. Nikita Nikitin skated normally in morning skate and looks to be back in the lineup. Tim Erixon is back to Springfield. Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start, and with Ilya Bryzgalov having played last night in Nashville for the Oilers the smart money's on Devan Dubnyk in net for them tonight.

Projected Lineups

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

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

Edmonton Oilers
(8-16-2, 18 Points; 7th Division, 14th Conference)

Taylor Hall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jordan Eberle
Nail Yakupov Sam Gagner Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth Boyd Gordon David Perron
Ryan Jones Mark Arcobello Jesse Joensuu
Andrew Ference Jeff Petry
Denis Grebeshkov Justin Schultz
Nick Schultz Anton Belov
Devan Dubnyk
Ilya Bryzgalov

Season Series

11/19/13 - Columbus 0 at Edmonton 7
11/29/13 - Edmonton at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Edmonton Columbus
2.58 (19) GPG 2.44 (22)
3.38 (29) GAPG 2.96 (23)
20.0% (12) PP% 18.6% (15)
83.0% (14) PK% 78.2% (23)
Jordan Eberle, 9 G leader Ryan Johansen, 8
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 14 A leader James Wisniewski, 16
Jordan Eberle, 22 Pts leader James Wisniewski, 18
Luke Gazdic, 57 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 40
5-8-2 Road/Home 4-7-1
11/28 @ Nashville, W 3-1 Last Game 11/27 vs. Nashville, L 4-0
4-6-0 Last 10 4-3-3

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