Fresh off another nice win in Pittsburgh over the weekend, the Jackets play their sixth game of an eight game exhibition schedule tonight at home against the Wild. This is the second matchup (in what is a theme this pre-season) of the pre-season between these two, with Columbus taking the first game last week up in St. Paul.
Sergei Bobrovsky is going to start again (in part because we're getting close to crunch time, and in part because of the injury to Curtis McElhinney), coming off a rousing third period performance on Saturday against Pittsburgh in which he held the door shut against an onslaught of shots.
And, to be frank, this is a game the Jackets should win handily, when one looks at the lineups being iced tonight. To say the Wild are, how you say, mailing it in would be an understatement. Somehow they've cobble together enough "regulars" to meet requirements, but if you're going down to the game with any expectations of seeing Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, Jason Pominville, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, or Niklas Backstrom, well... you're going to be disappointed.
In some good news for the Jackets, Dalton Prout is back in the lineup after tearing his abdominal muscle this summer. When hearing Prout talk about what this injury actually *was* (think: attachment tissue of muscle to pelvic bone TEARING OFF OF PELVIC BONE) and realizing that he's going to play tonight... wow. I want to know who his doctor is and what kind of vitamins he takes.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(4-1-0 in pre-season)
Note: These lines are my hunches based on previous lineups this pre-season
|Boone Jenner||Brandon Dubinsky||Marian Gaborik|
|Cam Atkinson||Artem Anisimov||Nick Foligno|
|Michael Chaput||Ryan Craig||Jack Skille|
|Blake Comeau||Derek MacKenzie||Cody Bass|
|James Wisniewski||Ryan Murray|
|Fedor Tyutin||Jack Johnson|
|Tim Erixon||Dalton Prout|
(2-1-0 in pre-season)
|Jason Zucker||Torrey Mitchell||Jake Dowell|
|Kyle Brodziak||Nino Niederreiter||Matt Cooke|
|David Steckel||Carson McMillan||Justin Fontaine|
|Tyler Graovac||Kristopher Foucault||Erik Haula|
Extra: Zack Phillips
|Keith Ballard||Clayton Stoner|
|Jonathon Blum||Nate Prosser|
|Jon Landry||Steven Kampfer|
Extra: Mathew Dumba
- My hunch is that Todd Richards keeps Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, and Marian Gaborik together. To say they've been good together would be an understatement. For the 20-year-old Jenner, this camp has been everything he could have hoped it would be, and he's legitimately pushing for a roster spot.
- I'm curious to see how tentative Dalton Prout may be tonight. There's always that mental hurdle coming back from injury, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that the specter of Matt Cooke in the lineup for the Wild didn't terrify me, since that's the kind of line I expect Prout's pair to see a lot of tonight.
- Can the Jackets keep from getting out-shot by such a crazy margin? Saturday was rough, in that the Jackets allowed Bobrovsky to face 41 shots, and the Jackets were outshot 41-23. That was the Penguins, yes, but as good as Bob was last season, it's not a recipe for success.