Sometimes the Blue Jackets can't win for losing. And maybe, if they are truly in full-on Auston Matthews Quest Mode, that's not a bad thing. Sergei Bobrovsky is back from the IR list, though he won't start tonight. Anton Forsberg returns to the AHL to make room.
That said, despite getting Bob back, the Jackets will again be without David Savard for an extended period of time, after he left Wednesday's game with another injury (upper body) that will have him on the shelf for awhile. The more things change...
Markus Hannikainen is also back from IR (remember him?) and will get some run on the fourth line in place of Rene Bourque.
Colorado is an interesting study. They don't have good possession numbers--like, at all--but yet here they are in the playoff picture in the West despite some injuries and inconsistency. At the end of November, they sat at 9-14-1. Since then? 13-6-2, including four of their last six.
We won't be seeing Andrew Bodnarchuk tonight for his triumphant return, as he's been relegated to bench duty after being picked up on waivers by the Avs from Columbus.
From the looks of things, the Jackets will mix things up in the forward lines (shocked, I tell ya). I expect (hope?) that they've gotten some rest and won't get completely bludgeoned in Corsi tonight like they did against Toronto, and hopefully Joonas Korpisalo can pick up where he left off. For the Avs, young goaltender Calvin Pikard gets his third start of the season and second in a row after shutting out New Jersey the other night.
This team was the team against which Columbus finally broke their streak. Maybe lightning can strike twice?
Columbus Blue Jackets
(16-25-4, 36 Points; 8th division, 16th conference)
|Brandon Saad||Alexander Wennberg||Cam Atkinson|
|Scott Hartnell||Brandon Dubinsky||Boone Jenner|
|Kerby Rychel||William Karlsson||Josh Anderson|
|Markus Hannikainen||Gregory Campbell||Jared Boll|
|Ryan Murray||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||Cody Goloubef|
|Justin Falk||Dalton Prout|
(22-20-3, 47 Points; 5th Division, 7th Conference)
|Alex Tanguay||Nathan MacKinnon||Matt Duchene|
|Gabriel Landeskog||Carl Soderberg||Blake Comeau|
|Andreas Martinsen||Chris Wagner||Jarome Iginla|
|Cody McLeod||John Mitchell||Jack Skille|
|Francois Beauchemin||Nikita Zadorov|
|Nick Holden||Tyson Barrie|
|Zach Redmond||Chris Bigras|