First and foremost, this game means nothing. Absolutely nothing. In the grand scheme of things, it has no relevance to how this season will go, and winning it will not bring any solace to our fanbase. With that said, we interrupt your regularly scheduled game preview to bring you these important messages:
(Note: these were originally supposed to be cool embeds. But, the code doesn't seem to be working right. Sigh. So much FAIL.)
Aaaaand, we're back!
Yes, it's the Penguins. But, more importantly for Columbus, we get to see a couple of pre-season debuts tonight, with Sergei Bobrovsky, Scott Hartnell, and Brandon Dubinsky all slated to play tonight. Bobrovsky is supposedly going to get the first two periods after which he will give way to Oscar Dansk. Here's the projected lineup for Columbus tonight:
|Scott Hartnell||Artem Anisimov||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Brian Gibbons||Brandon Dubinsky||Josh Anderson|
|Kerby Rychel||Michael Chaput||Cam Atkinson|
|Sean Collins||T.J. Tynan||Corey Tropp|
|Will Weber||James Wisniewski|
|Fedor Tyutin||Cody Goloubef|
|Jack Johnson||Austin Madaisky|
The Penguins will be bringing a contingent light on big names. No Crosby, no Malkin. Hell, look at this lineup. It's, um, not very inspiring:
At any rate, this SHOULD offer the Jackets a chance to continue their scoring ways so far this pre-season. It should also give the defense (and forward, too) a chance to continue acclimating to the tweaks made by Todd Richards to the system.
This game isn't going to win any awards for beauty, most likely. That said, here are a few things I'll be looking for:
- The Kid With The Vets - How well can Oliver Bjorkstrand mesh with Artem Anisimov and Scott Hartnell? OB has shown a knack for pure scoring, but his size pales in comparison to the guys he's with. How are they going to get deployed? Can he hang?
- Rusty Bob - This is our first look at Bob in game action. How does he look? Quick? Efficient? He may not get tested as much from this contingent of Pens forwards, but it will still be good to see how he looks. Also of note: can Oscar Dansk get off to a better start this time around, entering the game (presumably) to start the third period? Not a secret that he got blitzed early on Sunday night.
- Gibbons On A Scoring Line - When Brian Gibbons came over from these same Penguins, the belief was that he'd be asked to fill a fourth line role if he played at all. Tonight he's getting scoring line minutes, with Dubinsky and Josh Anderson. Let's see some more of that speed, please!
- Rychel 'n Cam - These two each played well in their respective games on Sunday. I want to see if they can pick up where they left off. If Atkinson is going to score goals at will, it will go a long way toward mitigating any Ryan Johansen long-term absence.