Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella plans to use "close to" NHL lineups in the club’s final two exhibition games. That would suggest that Tuesday’s game in Nashville – No. 6 on the eight-game preseason ledger – amounts to a “state your case” game for players who find themselves on the roster bubble.
“It’s an important night,” Tortorella said. “These guys are on (player tryout agreements), they’re young kids from Cleveland … yeah, it’s an important night.”
Here’s the lineup vs. the Predators:
Forwards: Josh Anderson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Mike Brown, Gregory Campbell, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Markus Hannikainen, William Karlsson, Sonny Milano, Lukas Sedlak, Jarret Stoll, Alexander Wennberg, Daniel Zaar.
Defense: Keith Aulie, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Scott Harrington, Dalton Prout, David Savard, Zach Werenski.
Goaltender: Joonas Korpisalo, Anton Forsberg.
There are many players in this roster with something to prove, and questions that the coaches and front office will have to answer soon:
- Will any of the players on PTO make the team? (My guess: no)
- Which prospects of Anderson, BJORKSTRAND, Dubois, Hannikainen, Milano, Sedlak, Zaar, Harrington, and Werenski make the Columbus roster, and which will be returned to Cleveland?
- For those that make the roster, what will their role be? Will Werenski be on the second or third pairing? Will BJORKSTRAND and/or Milano be top 6 forwards?
- Campbell, Karlsson, Wennberg, Prout, and Savard are all established veterans at this point. Which role will they have? Will Karlsson be a center or winger? Will Wennberg be a first, second, or third line center? Will Campbell and Prout be regular starters, or merely depth players?
- Who wins the battle of Korpisalo vs. Forsberg? Will the winner of that battle unseat Curtis McElhinney as the second goaltender behind Sergei Bobrovsky?
On the Nashville side, we finally see a familiar name:
The roster for tomorrow's preseason game against Columbus. pic.twitter.com/ID0MrWhSU4— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) October 3, 2016
Be gentle on us, Joey
The puck drops at 8 pm in Nashville, with radio coverage on 1460 AM and BlueJackets.com