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Game Preview: Red Wings at Blue Jackets

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NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Saturday, February 11, 2017 - 5:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Winging It In Motown

Detroit Red Wings, 22-22-10, 54 points, 8th Atlantic, 16th East
@
Columbus Blue Jackets, 34-14-5, 73 points, 3rd Metro, 3rd East

I am still angry about whatever you want to call that thing that happened in Nationwide Arena on Thursday night. It certainly cannot be called a “competitive hockey game.” In the last two outings on home ice, Columbus has lost by a combined score of 8-1, both of which games featured Sergei Bobrovsky in the net. That just cannot happen.

Tonight, the Blue Jackets welcome the Detroit Red Wings to Nationwide Arena for their final clash of the season, and the Wings’ only visit to Columbus this season. You would think the Blue Jackets would be ready for this one, but who knows anymore. The team doesn’t play with a chip on their shoulder anymore, doesn’t play with urgency, and barely displays any emotion out on the ice.

If they can’t get up for this one, well ... changes should be made. All throughout the roster.

Dalton Prout and David Savard did not practice yesterday, so I don’t expect either to draw into the lineup tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky will most likely get the start, even though his performances of late have left a whole lot to be desired. He’s not been helped by any of his skaters, however, who frequently lose marks and forget to backcheck in the defensive zone. The structure and consistency that Torts speaks so frequently about has all but disappeared from the Blue Jackets’ game.

So, we arrive here on Saturday, February 10, at a crossroads. Will this team find an emotional spark and come out and overwhelm the Red Wings, pissed off at their performances of late and seek to exert their will on a team that is dead last in the Eastern Conference? Or, for the fourth time in four games, will the CBJ come out flat, get pushed around from the opening whistle, and listlessly skate their way through another embarrassing home defeat?

I hope it’s the former. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on the latter.

Season Series

12/9/16 CBJ 4 @ DET 1
2/7/17 CBJ 3 @ DET 2 (OT)
2/11/17 DET @ CBJ

Stats Matchup

Detroit Columbus
2.98 (26) GPG 3.23 (5)
2.92 (23) GAPG 2.47 (5)
11.8% (30) PP% 23.6% (1)
80.9% (16) PK% 81.4% (14)
47.9% (24) EV Corsi % 50.3% (16)
100.3 (13) EV PDO 101.3 (7)
Thomas Vanek, 13 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 26
Henrik Zetterberg, 27 A Leader Alexander Wennberg, 34
Henrik Zetterberg, 39 P Leader Cam Atkinson, 48
Jonathan Ericsson, 63 PIM Leader Brandon Dubinsky, 57
11-10-5 Road / Home 18-7-1
3-3-4 Last 10 4-5-1

Probable Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Scott Hartnell Lukas Sedlak Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson Ryan Murray
Scott Harrington Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo

Detroit Red Wings

Gustav Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Dylan Larkin
Andreas Athanasiou Darren Helm Thoman Vanek
Steve Ott Luke Glendening Justin Abdelkader
Dan DeKeyser Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson Xavier Ouellet
Brendan Smith Nick Jensen
Petr Mrazek
Jared Coreau