First and foremost, my apologies for the lateness of today's preview. Sometimes work Dan gets in the way of hockey blogger Dan.
Biggest news for tonight, of course, is the return of Brandon Dubinsky. He's back from the foot issue that kept him out for a couple of weeks. Michael Chaput will get the scratch, and the lines will get juggled. I have to say that I don't understand the reasoning behind R.J. Umberger on the top line, give how he's been much better on the third line and that the top line has been playing well.
At any rate, some serious shuffling looks to be happening. I find myself wondering if the third line (these are listed on bluejackets.com) might not be thrown out in more offensive-minded situations, and the second line might get some more of the tough defensive draws.
The Jackets continued their good-game-bad-game stretch, and by that rationale they're due for another good one. That said, Tampa Bay's a bit of a different animal from Edmonton. THAT said, so was Toronto. Despite not having Steven Stamkos, the Lightning haven't really slowed down as much as you might expect with him out of the lineup. They're 4-4-1 with him out of the lineup since his leg injury, which is obviously a drop-off. That said, they've put that up against a tough, tough schedule, including a west coast road trip. So, all is not as bad as it seems.
They face a tough, tough Ben Bishop in goal, who's sporting a 2.08 gaa and .931 save percentage. In other words, this should go swimmingly.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(10-14-3, 23 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)
|Nick Foligno||Ryan Johansen||R.J. Umberger|
|Matt Calvert||Brandon Dubinsky||Blake Comeau|
|Boone Jenner||Artem Anisimov||Cam Atkinson|
|Corey Tropp||Mark Letestu||Jack Skille|
|Fedor Tyutin||Jack Johnson|
|Ryan Murray||James Wisniewski|
Tampa Bay Lightning
(16-9-1, 33 Points; 4th Division, 5th Conference)
|J.T. Brown||Valtteri Filppula||Martin St. Louis|
|Teddy Purcell||Alex Killorn||Nikita Kucherov|
|Ondrej Palat||Tyler Johnson||Richard Panik|
|Dana Tyrell||Nate Thompson||B.J. Crombeen|
|Victor Hedman||Sami Salo|
|Matt Carle||Andrej Sustr|
|Mark Barberio||Eric Brewer|
12/03/13 - Tampa Bay at Columbus
01/13/14 - Tampa Bay at Columbus
04/11/14 - Columbus at Tampa Bay
Head to Head Stats
|2.81 (10)||GPG||2.44 (22)|
|2.54 (13)||GAPG||2.93 (23)|
|17.0% (19)||PP%||20.4% (8)|
|84.8% (10)||PK%||79.1% (22)|
|Steven Stamkos, 14||G leader||Ryan Johansen, 10|
|Martin St. Louis, 14||A leader||James Wisniewski, 16|
|Martin St. Louis, 24
||Pts leader||Ryan Johansen 19|
|PIM leader||Brandon Dubinsky, 40|
|11/29 vs. Pittsburgh, L 3-0||Last Game||11/30 @ Boston, L 3-1|