The Columbus Blue Jackets come into the game in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’re not just in a wild card spot, the team is sitting in a top three position in the Metropolitan Conference despite some injury woes and failing to click offensively. Offensive guys like Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin have not yet hit their strides and the team is finding ways to bank points anyway. Despite missing the top line center of the future Alexander Wennberg, the team is still solid defensively, ranking among the best teams in the NHL in preventing goals this season.
Sergei Bobrovsky is playing at a Vezina pace despite breakdowns in front of him and chances being given up in high danger areas. Look at this chart from Tuesday’s game:
Sergei Bobrovsky stopping all of those chances is insane and I am so thankful we have the best goaltender on the planet in net each and every single night. He’s going to deserve every single penny of his Carey Price-esque contract that he gets from the front office.
The defensive pairing of Zach Werenski and Seth Jones impresses night in and night out. Werenski is a true offensive threat from the blue line and I absolutely guarantee that Seth Jones will win a Norris Trophy one day. He’s that good.
The team is monstrous at 5v5 and its not possible for guys to continue on slumps like this. Things will pick up and surely they’ll develop into an offensive juggernaut as they get healthy.
The power play has to improve. There is far too much talent on the units to fail this consistently and we have seen this system work. Perhaps tonight is the night the goals start to flow. The Rangers have poor possession numbers so chances are there will be opportunities there in all phases of the game for the Jackets to blow this one open.
Tonight the New York Rangers came to town. The team was unlucky to play a bad third period in Madison Square Garden last week, but the Blue Jackets have shown an ability to score on the Rangers, especially Artemi Panarin who I expect to score because of his deal with King Henrik. Look for some revenge on home ice.
Game time is 7:00. Go Jackets.
|Artemi Panarin||Nick Foligno||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Boone Jenner||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Josh Anderson||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Tyler Motte|
|Sonny Milano||Jordan Schroeder||Markus Hannikainen|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Ryan Murray||Markus Nutivaara|
|Chris Kreider||Mika Zibanejad||Pavel Buchnevich|
|Rick Nash||Kevin Hayes||Mats Zuccarello|
|Jimmy Vesey||David Desharnais||J.T. Miller|
|Michael Grabner||Boo Nieves||Jesper Fast|
|Ryan McDonagh||Nick Holden|
|Brady Skjei||Kevin Shattenkirk|
|Marc Staal||Steve Kampfer|