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Game Preview: Recharge

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The Jackets hit the road after a couple disappointing results at home

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I hope everyone is enjoying their Black Friday, and had good holiday yesterday. I had a relaxing day with an intimate gathering of friends and family. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to watch some good hockey this season. I’m thankful to be part of such a good community here at The Cannon, and I’m thankful that Mike invited me to join the staff this summer.

Now back to hockey: earlier this week, the Blue Jackets lost two very winnable games. They got many scoring chances, but had trouble finding the back of the net. On the defensive end, some sloppy play led to surrendered goals. I’m putting Zach Werenski and Seth Jones in particular on blast. I trust that they’ll snap out of it, but this has been a disappointing week for them. Let’s hope that the players don’t have a tryptophan hangover and are energized to get back in the win column tonight.

Matt Calvert was officially added to the IR. This loss hurts, as he has been a spark plug this season. Markus Hannikainen takes his spot in the lineup. It was a bad play by Hannikainen on the PK that led to a Calgary goal. I’d prefer to see someone else get those special teams minutes in Calvert’s absence.

Justin Scott was recalled from Cleveland as the corresponding roster move. He’s a 21 year old playing in his first professional season after 4 years with the Barrie Colts of the OHL. He is 3/3/6 with 8 PIM in 16 games with the Monsters this season. Considering he got the call instead of someone like Sonny Milano or Oliver Bjorkstrand suggests to me that he is there “just in case” and likely will not play.

On the Tampa side, captain Steven Stamkos is hurt once again. He suffered a torn meniscus and is out 4-6 months. This is not his first major injury. I hate to see such a talented player miss so much time. Luckily for Tampa they are still a very talented roster even without Stamkos.

Fun coaching note: Columbus head coach John Tortorella got his first NHL coaching job with these Lightning, and won a Stanley Cup with them in 2004. Meanwhile, his Columbus predecessor Todd Richards is now an assistant on the Tampa bench.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Markus Hannikainen Lukas Sedlak Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney
Jonathan Drouin Valtteri Filppula Ondrej Palat
Alex Killorn Vladislav Namestnikov Nikita Kucherov
Ryan Callahan Tyler Johnson Brayden Point
Erik Condra Cedric Paquette Brian Boyle
Victor Hedman Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn Nikita Nesterov
Jason Garrison Slater Koekkoek
Ben Bishop
Andrei Vasilevskiy