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Game Preview #75 - When Will This Ride End?

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Well, obviously, at the end of the season, but more specifically: five in a row, seven in a row on the road, and eight of nine. This can't keep going, right?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at St. Louis Blues

March 27, 2015 - 8:30 pm EDT
Scottrade Center - St. Louis, Missouri
Radio - WBNS 97.1 FM - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: St. Louis Game Time

There are so many things happening right now that just don't make sense:

  • The Jackets set a franchise record with seven straight road wins.
  • The Jackets now have three 25-goal scorers. This has never happened in franchise history. The Jackets are only the second team at this point in the season with three 25-goal scorers (Tampa Bay). Cam Atkinson can become the team's fourth 20-goal scorer with his next goal. If Columbus scores 30 goals in their final eight games (so, just a smidge under four goals per game, which obviously isn't likely), they would match last season's goals total. Which is the franchise record.
  • The Jackets had never had two straight games with a hat trick before last night. In fact, before Scott Hartnell's hat trick on Tuesday, it had been almost three years (!!!) since the team had had a hat trick. That night, it was Cam Atkinson at Colorado, at the end of the 30th place season in '11-'12.
  • The Jackets are at .500. In THIS season. They have technically gone .500 since the New Year's Eve win (19-19-1). Which means that, even with all the crap, injuries, and ineffectiveness, they are nine games over .500 since the end of November (29-20-2). Even with all the junk that's happened in that time span--all the injuries, all the bad play and terrible losses--that's a pace of 96 or 97 points for a full season.

I mean, for real. I don't know what all of this means in the grand scheme of things, but to say this team has rolled over and packed it in for the remainder of the season would be the furthest thing from the truth. They are beating playoff teams, who may take it a little more lightly when the 25th place team shows up, but the Jackets--while statistically being outplayed in many respects--are laying smack-downs on these teams. This can't be a bad thing, really, can it?

I honestly don't give a crap about the draft pick right now (don't look now, but we passed New Jersey! Everybody panic!).

No word on lineup changes tonight, since there was no skate this morning. I'll leave it the same as it was last night.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets 
(35-35-4, 74 Points; 6th division, 12th conference)

Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell William Karlsson Marko Dano
Brandon Dubinsky Artem Anisimov Nick Foligno
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Jeremy Morin
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kevin Connauton Cody Goloubef
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

St. Louis Blues
(46-21-7, 99 Points; 2nd Division, 3rd Conference)

Alexander Steen David Backes T.J. Oshie
Jaden Schwartz Jori Lehtera Vladimir Tarasenko
Dmitrij Jaskin Paul Stastny Patrik Berglund
Steve Ott Marcel Goc Ryan Reaves
Carl Gunnarsson Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester Zbynek Michalek
Barret Jackman Kevin Shattenkirk
Brian Elliott
Jake Allen

Season Series

02/06/15 - St. Louis 1 at Columbus 7
03/28/15 - Columbus at St. Louis

Head to Head Stats

St. Louis Columbus
2.93 (5) GPG 2.65 (19)
2.40 (7) GAPG 3.08 (25)
22.7% (3) PP% 21.9% (5)
83.0% (10) PK% 79.4% (25)
Vladimir Tarasenko, 35 G leader Nick Foligno, 26
Alexander Steen, 38 A leader Ryan Johansen, 40
Vladimir Tarasenko, 70 Pts leader Nick Foligno / Ryan Johansen, 65
Ryan Reaves, 116 PIM leader Jared Boll, 109
24-9-2 Home/Road 21-15-2
6-2-2 Last 10 8-2-0
3/24 @ Pittsburgh, W 3-2 Last Game 3/27 @ Chicago, W 5-2