Well, for once I don't have to write about the latest crazy injury afflicting the Blue Jackets. They escaped Friday night unscathed, and didn't skate this morning. So, barring any other unforeseen acts of and angry Hockey God, we should see the same lineup as Friday, with the only switch in net.
On paper (see below), these teams are fairly evenly matched. Their per-game numbers are very similar, with Colorado having the slight edge. But, as we know, games aren't played on paper; the Avs have a certain je ne sais quoi that gives the Jackets fits.
Oh, wait. Actually, je sais quoi: speed. The Jackets seem to be flummoxed by the way Colorado skates. Every single game there are stretches where it looks like Columbus is standing still.
That said, the Jackets--while not winning--have been playing hard and actually playing pretty well, I would argue, of late. They have just a 1-2-2 record in their last five, but who among us wouldn't say--especially given the competition and circumstances with injuries--that they haven't looked about as good as you could possibly ask?
So, today's opponent isn't in quite the same zip code as Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas... yet. Can the Jackets bring the same intensity, same energy, and same--gasp--goal-scoring of late to this one, and grab a win at home?
Columbus Blue Jackets
(5-12-4, 14 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)
|R.J. Umberger||Ryan Johansen||Nick Foligno|
|Matt Calvert||Artem Anisimov||Cam Atkinson|
|Vinny Prospal||Mark Letestu||Derek Dorsett|
|Colton Gillies||Derek MacKenzie||Jared Boll|
|Fedor Tyutin||Nikita Nikitin|
|Tim Erixon||Adrian Aucoin|
|Dalton Prout||Cody Goloubef|
(8-8-3, 19 Points; 4th Division, 13th Conference)
|Gabriel Landeskog||Paul Stastny||Milan Hejduk|
|Jamie McGinn||Matt Duchene||P.A. Parenteau|
|John Mitchell||Mark Olver||David Jones|
|Cody McLeod||Chuck Kobasew||Aaron Palushaj|
|Jan Hejda||Tyson Barrie|
|Matt Hunwick||Ryan O'Byrne|
|Shane O'Brien||Greg Zanon|
01/24/13 - Columbus 0 at Colorado 4
03/03/13 - Colorado at Columbus
04/15/13 - Columbus at Colorado
Head to Head
Colorado Columbus 2.53 (20) GPG 2.19 (27) 3.00 (23) GAPG 3.05 (25) 12.9% (27) PP% 12.0% (28) 78.3% (23) PK% 84.2% (10) P.A. Parenteau, 8 G leader Vinny Prospal, 7 Matt Duchene, 12 A leader Fedor Tyutin, 7 Matt Duchene, 19 Pts leader three tied, 11 Patrick Bordeleau, 41 PIM leader Jared Boll, 69 2-6-2 Road/Home 3-4-3 2/28 vs Calgary, W 5-4 Last Game 3/1 @ Chicago, L 4-3 (OT) 4-3-3 Last 10 2-6-2
- Johans-age - What a beauty goal for Joey to get off the goose-egg in the goal department. I like the top two forward lines as constructed--given the available personell--and they seemed to play well against Chicago. it would be nice for the monkey to be off of Johansen's back (whether it be the "hey why am I in the AHL?" monkey, or the "when am I going to score a goal?" monkey) and get him going. He had some stretches last season where he scored in bunches. This team could use some of that.
- The PK - Don't look now, but even without Brandon Dubinsky, the Jackets have climbed back into the top 10 in PK work. They've gone four straight--against some good PP competition--without a goal allowed, and 13 overall PKs without a goal (the one-second-after goal in Chicago notwithstanding). During such an abysmal season in terms of stats and wins/losses, this area has been the club's one bright spot.
- Home Cooking - The Jackets' overall record is not a pretty sight, but their home record is, ehhh, respectable all things considered. Nine of their next 10 are at Nationwide Arena. I know we've mostly resigned ourselves to the MacKinnon/Jones derby at this point, but it would be pretty nice to see this team put together a nice run at home over the next month.
Just remember: it's 12:35 PM on March 3, 2013...
...AND ADAM FOOTE STILL BLOWS!