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Game Preview 70: Fail Off: Who Wants it *Less*?

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Yeah, this happened last time, just in case you forgot. Photo from The Canadian Press via <a href="http://i.thestar.com/images/62/0c/fa9961884d66829095ec95e2ef1e.jpeg">i.thestar.com</a>
Yeah, this happened last time, just in case you forgot. Photo from The Canadian Press via i.thestar.com

Columbus Blue Jackets at Edmonton Oilers

March 14, 2012 - 10:00pm EDT
Rexall Place - Edmonton, Alberta
Radio - WBNS FM 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: The Copper & Blue

Playoff implications? Nope. Bragging rights? Maybe. Rivalry? Not really. Two teams out of the playoffs, 13 games to go in the season... what's the draw?

FAIL FOR NAIL, BABY!

These two teams are the two horses in the race as we round the corner and head down the home stretch. Both teams have played 69 games. Consider:

Edmonton: 26-36-7, 59 pts
Columbus: 22-40-7, 51 pts

It's a nice cushion with 13 games to go, but these two teams meet two more times in that span. Those four points may loom quite large.

Laceration report, now! Steve Mason is back on the trip. Speaking of lacerations, remember the last time these two teams played and Taylor Hall ended up with that gruesome cut on his head? You remember that? That was awesome. /Farley'd

Get the No Doz... the Jackets are on their last Western Canada trip of the season.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(22-40-7, 51 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

R.J. Umberger Derick Brassard Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal Mark Letestu Cam Atkinson
Ryan Russell Darryl Boyce Colton Gillies
Dane Byers Ryan Johansen Jared Boll
Jack Johnson James Wisniewski
Aaron Johnson Nikita Nikitin
John Moore Brett Lebda
Curtis Sanford
Steve Mason

Edmonton Oilers
(26-36-7, 59 Points; 5th Division, 14th Conference)

Taylor Hall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jordan Eberle
Linus Omark Sam Gagner Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth Shawn Horcoff Ryan Jones
Lennart Petrell Eric Belanger Ben Eager
Ladislav Smid Jeff Petry
Ryan Whitney Nick Schultz
Andy Sutton Theo Peckham
Devan Dubnyk
Nikolai Khabibulin

Season Series

12/02/11 - Columbus 3 at Edmonton 6 - RECAP
01/17/12 - Edmonton 2 at Columbus 4 - RECAP
03/14/12 - Columbus at Edmonton
03/25/12 - Edmonton at Columbus

Head to Head

Edmonton Columbus
2.58 (17) GPG 2.29 (27)
2.96 (26) GAPG 3.16 (29)
21.7% (1) PP% 15.5% (25)
81.2% (20) PK% 76.8% (30)
Jordan Eberle, 30 G leader Rick Nash, 24
Jordan Eberle, 35 A leader Vinny Prospal, 33
Jordan Eberle, 65 Pts leader Rick Nash, 47
Ben Eager, 92 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 192
3/12 vs. San Jose, L 3-2 Last Game 3/11 vs. St. Louis, L 2-1
3-6-1 Last 10 5-5-0

Game Notes:

  • Need for Discipline - The numbers tell the story. The league's best PP unit. The league's worst PK unit. Stay out of the box, boys.
  • No Dorse - Derek Dorsett is apparently on quarantine, having not traveled with the team due to illness. You'll remember that Dorse had one of his best games the time these clubs played in Edmonton, with two goals in a losing effort. He also played well against the Oil at home back in January.
  • Healthier - The Jackets' win over the Oilers in January was with a slightly (heh) different Edmonton lineup. They didn't have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Linus Omark, or Ryan Whitney. In other words, we're going to see the full compliment of Oilers' skill tonight, which is something the Jackets have struggled with in the past.

13 games. Eight points. May the less interested team win... the draft lottery!