It's almost fitting. After weeks of lineup continuity save for the injuries, in what will be his milestone 1,000th game behind an NHL bench, John Tortorella fired the Line BlenderTM up in full force.
(Scroll down and look at those defense pairings. I'll wait for you to flush the puke down the toilet.)
At any rate, there are some interesting doings. Curtis McElhinney is apparently done for the year with a new knee injury. Joonas Korpisalo is up on emergency recall, though expect an IR move at some point (and possibly a move to bring up Anton Forsberg to back up Sergei Bobrovsky and Korpisalo to get the starts in Lake Erie) if Mac is done-zo.
Fedor Tyutin is "probable" as of this morning. John Ramage is lurking as an emergency recall as well, should Tyutin not be good to go.
The Devils are in a weird spot: they're not out of it, but they're not really in it, either. They sit six points behind Detroit for the second Wild Card, and five points behind ninth-place Philadelphia. With 11 games to go, that's a tough hill to climb. They're exactly in that kind of no-man's land that we didn't want to be in when the Jackets were playing better back in February.
Thank God that's over with, amirite??
Columbus is now effectively just playing out the string, and have made some lineup changes to correspond to that. Torts is "gathering intel" on these guys, so it looks like we'll see Boone Jenner at center again to start tonight, with some other changes down the lineup.
Mark it down that I'm about to type this about a Blue Jackets' lineup:
I actually kinda like that fourth line.
I don't know what to expect game-to-game from these guys anymore, but suffice it to say that having been outscored 19-8 in their last five games is b-a-d. Maybe that's what we should be happy about, once the draft lottery rolls around. Either way, it makes for some ugly hockey. Considering the opponent and their style of play, the next two nights could be pretty brutal to watch.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(28-34-8, 64 Points; 8th division, 15th conference)
|Scott Hartnell||Brandon Dubinsky||Nick Foligno|
|Brandon Saad||Boone Jenner||Cam Atkinson|
|Matt Calvert||Alexander Wennberg||BJORKSTRAND|
|William Karlsson||Michael Chaput||Gregory Campbell|
|David Savard||Seth Jones|
|Ryan Murray||Dalton Prout|
|Fedor Tyutin||Cody Goloubef|
New Jersey Devils
(34-30-7, 75 Points; 6th Division, 10th Conference)
|Tyler Kennedy||Adam Henrique||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Reid Boucher||Travis Zajac||Kyle Palmieri|
|Joseph Blandisi||Sergey Kalinin||Mike Sislo|
|Bobby Farnham||Stephen Gionta||Tuomo Ruutu|
|Andy Greene||Adam Larsson|
|John Moore||David Schlemko|
|Jon Merrill||Damon Severson|