Well, that sucked. First and foremost, our apologies for the site issues we experienced Thursday night and all through Friday. All of SBNation was affected, and the tech folks worked literally without sleep for the greater part of 36 hours to fix it. We know the timing was pretty unfortunate (it seemed the network crapped out right when the Jackets were doing the same), and we appreciate your patience as the team behind the scenes worked to fix it.
Now, on to tonight's game. I'm not going to touch on Thursday much, because let's face it: the sooner we can get past that, the better. The teams go again tonight, and the Jackets get a hopeful boost in the return to action of both James Wisniewski and Marian Gaborik. The latter prompts some pretty sweeping lineup changes, and at first glance I don't like really any of the lines. But, that's why I sit and brood watching my team crap out on TV and the coaches get paid to actually coach the team.
The other story line is a bit unfulfilling: barring an injury or a complete implosion by Ray Emery, Steve Mason is going to duck the Columbus crowd tonight. That's one of the biggest disappointments from Thursday. Mason played pretty damn awfully, and still managed to get the win because the ENTIRE Jackets roster played even worse in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Suffice it to say, I expect/hope/pray to see a fired up Jackets team that skates hard and plays a physical, physical game. I suspect if they manage to build a lead tonight, we won't see them try to simply hold off the Flyers. If we do, well, there are some bigger issues that will need to be dealt with. Let's hope.
Finally, let's put a f**king body on Claude Giroux.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(14-17-4, 32 Points; 7th division, 14th conference)
|Boone Jenner||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Matt Calvert||Ryan Johansen||R.J. Umberger|
|Nick Foligno||Artem Anisimov||Marian Gaborik|
|Corey Tropp||Mark Letestu||Blake Comeau|
|Fedor Tyutin||Jack Johnson|
|Ryan Murray||James Wisniewski|
|Nikita Nikitin||David Savard|
(16-15-4, 36 Points; 3rd division, 8th conference)
|Michael Raffl||Claude Giroux||Jakub Voracek|
|Scott Hartnell||Brayden Schenn||Wayne Simmonds|
|Matt Read||Sean Couturier||Steve Downie|
|Chris VandeVelde||Adam Hall||Zac Rinaldo|
|Kimmo Timonen||Braydon Coburn|
|Mark Streit||Nicklas Grossmann|
|Luke Schenn||Erik Gustafsson|
12/19/13 - Columbus 4 at Philadelphia 5
12/21/13 - Philadelphia at Columbus
01/23/14 - Philadelphia at Columbus
04/03/14 - Columbus at Philadelphia
Head to Head Stats
Philadelphia Columbus 2.43 (22) GPG 2.57 (16) 2.69 (15) GAPG 2.83 (21) 17.3% (18) PP% 18.8% (12) 83.1% (13) PK% 81.7% (16) Matt Read, 10 G leader Ryan Johansen, 12 Claude Giroux, 21 A leader Brandon Dubinsky / James Wisniewski, 16 Claude Giroux, 30 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 27 Zac Rinaldo, 90 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 68 6-8-4 Road/Home 8-8-2 12/19 vs. Columbus, W 5-4 Last Game 12/19 @ Philadelphia, L 5-4 5-3-2 Last 10 5-4-1