Tonight at 8:30 (oof, a late one), Columbus begins a streak of 3 games versus the top 4 of the NHL standings. All 4 teams (including the Blue Jackets) are battling for the President’s Trophy and the top seed in their respective conferences.
The last time these two teams met, it was just the third game of the season for the Blue Jackets. They had dropped their first two at home before getting a 5 day break. Before setting off on a West Coast road trip, they hosted the Blackhawks and game away with a 3-2 victory. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a huge boost of confidence. I remember we all gave a sigh of relief, knowing that another 8 game losing streak to open the season was not in the cards.
The Blackhawks are coming into postseason form, with a 5-1 thumping of the Penguins at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Among their stats, however, their special teams numbers are surprisingly poor.
For Columbus, last night saw a return to the 4 forward lines used during the Streak. Markus Nutivaara returned to the lineup in place of Scott Harrington. Joonas Korpisalo played last night, so Sergei Bobrovsky will return to the pipes tonight to continue his push for the Vezina Trophy - and perhaps the Hart as well?
One obstacle: the team had to spend last night in Raleigh due to issues with the plane. Hopefully it doesn’t throw them off too much to travel this morning.
|Boone Jenner||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Nick Foligno||Alexander Wennberg||Brandon Saad|
|Matt Calvert||Lars Karlsson||Josh Anderson|
|Scott Hartnell||Lukas Sedlak||Sam Gagner|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Kyle Quincey||Markus Nutivaara|
|Marian Hossa||Marcus Kruger||Ryan Hartman|
|Patrick Kane||Tanner Kero||Artemi Panarin|
|Richard Panik||Jonathan Toews||Nick Schmaltz|
|Tomas Jurco||Dennis Rasmussen||John Hayden|
|Niklas Hjalmarsson||Duncan Keith|
|Johnny Oduya||Brent Seabrook|
|Brian Campbell||Trevor Van Riemsdyk|