These are two teams running on fumes. The Jackets are just 4-6-0 in their last 10, including 2-4-0 in their last six. The Canes, after going 3-0-1 after a purge at the deadline, have lost five in a row (0-2-3), including a mirror image of what the Jackets did on Tuesday by blowing a lead to Buffalo with four minutes to go and losing in regulation.
The Canes are trying to do what Columbus is trying to do. They, however, were able to shed some contracts at the deadline, sending Eric Staal, John-Michael Liles, and Kris Versteeg packing. They've got quite a bit of youth on their blue line with Liles gone and Justin Faulk (the good one, not the one we have) out with injury. They may have played their way out of the lottery discussion for most of the season, but even though they were close their GM made the smart move to shed contracts and move on (it should be noted, however, that all three are expiring contracts).
So, both of these teams are drifting toward the finish line. What should we expect? Who wants it slightly less more than the other?
Columbus Blue Jackets
(30-35-8, 68 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|
|Ryan Murray||Seth Jones|
|Fedor Tyutin||Dalton Prout|
|Cody Goloubef||David Savard|
(31-28-14, 76 Points; 7th Division, 11th Conference)
|Joakim Nordstrom||Jordan Staal||Elias Lindholm|
|Jeff Skinner||Victor Rask||Phil Di Giuseppe|
|Chris Terry||Derek Ryan||Riley Nash|
|Nathan Gerbe||Jay McClement||Brad Malone|
|Jaccob Slavin||Ron Hainsey|
|Noah Hanifin||Brett Pesce|
|Michal Jordan||Ryan Murphy|