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Game Preview #67 - I Don't Even Know Anymore

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This is going to be chock full of editorial comments.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings

March 12, 2015 - 7:30 pm EST
Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, Michigan
Radio - WWCD 102.5 FM - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Winging It In Motown

Under different circumstances, I would be more apt to discuss this game. Suffice it to say, the Wings are good, the Jackets are not. Brandon Dubinsky missed morning skate due to illness, and he will not be playing. But, that's not even the thing for me.

Ryan Murray was activated off of IR this morning, and I'm forced to ask the universe: WHY?

I know this isn't a legitimate reason (past fluke events having no real bearing on future returns), but with the Horseman of Pestilence continuing to ride in a tight circle around this team, what is the upside to bringing Murray back for any of the last 15 games? Murray's leg has been in some manner of disrepair for basically a calendar year, minus the two games he played this winter before suffering the high ankle sprain. What benefit, other than exposing him to more injury, is there for a team playing out the string? Wouldn't it make more sense to give him the rest of the spring and summer to get himself completely ready to play in meaningful games in the fall? He really is THAT important to this franchise.

I just don't get it. But, I'm willing to listen to arguments. Please have at it in the comments.

The lineup for tonight's game is kinda gross without Dubinsky, but at least Foligno returns.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets 
(28-34-4, 60 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)

Rene Bourque Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell Alexander Wennberg Marko Dano
Corey Tropp Artem Anisimov Nick Foligno
Luke Adam Mark Letestu Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Kevin Connauton Cody Goloubef
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Detroit Red Wings
(37-17-11, 85 Points; 3rd Division, 6th Conference)

Tomas Tatar Pavel Datsyuk Luke Glendening
Erik Cole Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Gustav Nyquist Riley Sheahan Teemu Pulkkinen
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Tomas Jurco
Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith Marek Zidlicky
Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Season Series

DET - 1-0-1
CBJ - 1-1-0

11/18/14 - Detroit 5 at Columbus 0
12/16/14 - Columbus 1 at Detroit 0 (SO)
03/12/15 - Columbus at Detroit

Head to Head Stats

Detroit Columbus
2.91 (7) GPG 2.50 (24)
2.51 (11) GAPG 3.15 (26)
25.4% (1) PP% 21.3% (6)
81.9% (11) PK% 79.3% (25)
Tomas Tatar, 25 G leader Nick Foligno, 24
Henrik Zetterberg, 41 A leader Ryan Johansen, 35
Pavel Datsyuk / Henrik Zetterberg, 56 Pts leader Nick Foligno, 58
Brendan Smith, 60 PIM leader Jared Boll, 97
19-6-7 Home/Road 16-15-2
6-3-1 Last 10 2-7-1
3/9 vs. Edmonton, W 5-2 Last Game 3/10 @ Carolina, W 4-3 (SO)