Well, let's see: two straight road losses, including some listless play (three shots in the third period of a tied game? Really?). Two straight games in which key players--Artem Anisimov Friday, and Brandon Dubinsky Saturday--have gone down to injury. Arty is still day-to-day and is going to try to go in morning skate to see how he feels; Dubinsky is out tonight. Cam Atkinson is also going to try to skate this morning and see if he can play.
If none of those three can go, it's going to get dicey. The Jackets called up Sean Collins--who has never played an NHL game--and still have Nick Drazenovic up (he of the four career NHL games). New papa James Wisniewski will be back, though, so the original six defensemen are finally back on the ice together. It's been awhile since we could say that.
It's not like they're playing one of the three best teams in the league, though, right?
The Ducks are playing like a team possessed right now, all the way down to surprise goalie star Viktor Fasth. Fasth has played well all season, creating a bit of a controversy. And then, Jonas Hiller was injured on February 8th, and Fasth has continued to play well in Hiller's absence. Fasth is now 8-0-0 with a 1.78 gaa and a .933 save %. Because of Hiller's injury--and a four-days-off stretch following this game--look for Fasth to get at least one more go tonight before Hiller comes back. Though, if you were going to try to ease Hiller back in... just sayin'.
Bruce Boudreau's squad seems to be rejuvinated, as they're scoring at a pretty insane clip right now; they have nine guys with four or more goals. Those nine guys have 38 goals. The entire Blue Jackets team has 34. That's good, right?
In other words, getcha cocktails ready. This could be a long one.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(4-9-2, 10 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)
|R.J. Umberger||Derick Brassard||Derek Dorsett|
|Vinny Prospal||???||Mark Letestu|
|Matt Calvert||???||Nick Foligno|
|Colton Gillies||Derek MacKenzie||Jared Boll|
|Fedor Tyutin||Nikita Nikitin|
|Jack Johnson||James Wisniewski|
|John Moore||Adrian Aucoin|
(11-2-1, 23 Points; 1st Division, 2nd Conference)
|Matt Beleskey||Ryan Getzlaf||Corey Perry|
|Bobby Ryan||Peter Holland||Teemu Selanne|
|Andrew Cogliano||Saku Koivu||Daniel Winnik|
|Patrick Maroon||Nick Bonino||Kyle Palmieri|
|Sheldon Souray||Francois Beauchemin|
|Luca Sbisa||Toni Lydman|
|Bryan Allen||Ben Lovejoy|
02/18/13 - Columbus at Anaheim
03/31/13 - Anaheim at Columbus
04/17/13 - Columbus at Anaheim
Head to Head
Anaheim Columbus 3.29 (4) GPG 2.20 (28) 2.57 (13) GAPG 3.13 (22) 20.4% (9) PP% 13.6% (26) 72.7% (27) PK% 83.6% (11) Bobby Ryan / Daniel Winnik, 5 G leader Mark Letestu, 5 Teemu Selanne, 11 A leader Fedor Tyutin, 9 Teemu Selanne, 15 Pts leader Fedor Tyutin, 10 Brad Staubitz, 39 PIM leader Jared Boll, 65 4-1-0 Home/Road 1-5-0 2/16 @ Nashville, W 3-2 (SO) Last Game 2/16 @ Phoenix, L 5-3 8-1-1 Last 10 3-6-1
- Bobby Ryan - I know there are some fans here that want Columbus to kick the tires on Ryan in a trade. Two things: 1. Why would Anaheim trade him right now? They're on top of the world, and in this kind of shortened season anything can happen. 2. He's got 5/7/12 in 14 games. The pace he's on--thanks in part to the way his team is playing--is only going to inflate his value as the season goes on. We'd end up overpaying by a LOT, in my opinion, assuming the Ducks are even interested in trading him right now.
- Full Defense - Tonight should be the first night since January 29th that Columbus has iced their original top-six defense pairings. Adrian Aucoin is finally back after missing six games. Wiz is back after the injury and the birth of his child. Nikitin is back, though some might argue not himself. John Moore is back. Tim Erixon looks to be the odd man out, though if Nikitin has another rough game it might be time to sit him down for a game or two.
- Ducks on Fire - Just a reminder that the Ducks are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. I don't have anything else to say here.
Late game. Not good times.