The last time the Blue Jackets faced the Colorado Avalanche, they left beaten, broken, and without a head coach.
They had lost 5-1, scored on twice shorthanded in the same power play, and I'd say it was probably the lowest, morale wise, that last years' team would get.
That was last year, but I have no doubt the players who were there still remember that night quite clearly, and I'd bet money that more than a few would like nothing more than some payback.
After all, revenge is a dish best served cold.
|Game Time: 9:00pm EDT
|TV: Fox Sports Ohio (HD)
|Radio: WWCD-FM (102.5)
|Blue Jackets vs Avalanche coverage|
|Opponent's Blog: Mile High Hockey
Freakily enough, it's Colorado's 666th home game since they moved from Quebec City. It's also the start of a 7 game home-stand for the Avs, and they'll be looking to start strong despite the (temporary?) loss of goaltender Craig Anderson.
The Jackets learned the hard way about Colorado's scoring power, but hopefully they were paying even closer attention to the Avs' 6-5 win over Calgary on Thursday night. In that game, the Avs came back from 3-1, 4-3, and 5-4 deficits to win the game, with the GWG being scored with less than three minutes to go in regulation. Even if we ignore the fact that between Miikka Kiprusoff and Peter Budaj the teams might have been better off putting up a shooting trainer in net, the Avs were able to keep pace with and eventually outscore the same Flames offense that put a serious hurting on the Jackets just over a week ago.
Fail to respect their ability, and the Jackets could dig themselves a hole that they can't dig out of.
Things aren't all gloom and grim, though - as mentioned, Anderson is out, and while Columbus is historically not very good against the Avs (27-7-5), they've been fairly decent against Peter Budaj, who has a 2.87 GAA and a .907 SV % historically against Columbus, and is currently toting a 4.23 GAA and a .883 SV % in his three starts since Anderson went down.
The Avalanche are also weakened by the loss of
quisling former Jacket Adam Foote, who has been sidelined with concussion symptoms. Though Colorado still has an excellent power play, their PK is struggling hard, currently hanging around 74%.
There's only two keys to this game, really - deny the Avs strong chances against Steve Mason, and hit Peter Budaj with as much rubber as possible. Do both, and the Jackets should be able to skate out of the Pepsi Center with a little bit of redemption.
No lineup changes are expected for the Jackets after Thursday's game against the Oilers.
Fearless Preditction: Kris Russell gets his legs under him tonight and scores a goal.
Blue Jackets Information:
|R.J. Umberger||Antoine Vermette||Derek Dorsett|
No lineup card available for the Avs tonight, sorry.