clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Looking Ahead the Rest of the Way

New, comments

Columbus Blue Jackets’ All-Star representation, reinforcements, and taking a look at the remaining schedule.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

We are in the middle of the bye week for the Columbus Blue Jackets, so now is as good a time as any to look ahead and see how things stack up. Immediately following the scheduled break is a date with the Dallas Stars on Thursday, Jan. 18. In fact, things are pretty light here on out the rest of the month.

Rest of January

Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Jackets will visit Sin City for the first time (as a team, anyway) and see first-hand what is making former Blue Jackets coach, Gerrard Gallant, forward William Karlsson, and the rest of the Vegas Golden Knights tick. To the tune of the best record in the West. Crazy expansion teams.

Karlsson somehow did not make the All-Star squad, despite 23 goals, 14 assists, 36 points.

Wednesday, Jan. 25.
On the 25th, Columbus hits the desert to face the bottom-dwelling Arizona Coyotes. Arizona will be minus Anthony Duclair, who was just shipped out to the Chicago Blackhawks last week.

How They Did
Dec 9. CBJ 1 AZ 0

Tuesday, Jan. 30
Finish up the month against the Minnesota Wild.

How They Did
Oct 14. CBJ 5 MIN 4

All-Star Weekend — Jan. 27-28 in Tampa, Florida

You may have thought some combination of Sergei Bobrovsky (21 wins, 2.43 goals-against average, .920 save percentage), Artemi Panarin (12 goals, 26 assists, 38 points), Seth Jones (eight goals, 22 assists, 30 points), and Zach Werenski (Leads defenseman with 11 goals, 10 assists, 20 points) might represent the Metropolitan Division in Tampa for the 63rd NHL All-Star Game.

Well, for now, Jones is the lone All-Star rep from Columbus and making his second-consecutive career appearance. Going forward, we will see who the injury replacements are. For instance, Victor Hedman will be unavailable for the event after sustaining a lower-body injury last week and is slated to be out 3-6 weeks. So while a replacement from the Atlantic Division would replace Hedman, in general, stay tuned for replacements.

The Metro will be captioned by Alex Ovechkin (NHL lead 28 goals, 21 assists, 49 points).

Reinforcement

Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray, and Sonny Milano have all combined to miss chunks of time this season.

Extending as far back as November (Murray), to last Monday in Toronto (Milano), and the rest in between, the injury list started shrinking, ever so slightly. Wennberg already returned to action Jan. 11 against the Sabres, and earlier than the initial six-week timetable for a back injury suffered in late December.

In his two games back, he played just north of 18 minutes, and 17 minutes respectively, not taking a shot in either game against Buffalo or Vancouver. He’s also taken a bit of a beating.

No worse for wear, though, as they say.

On the bright side, what better way to test out the body, right?

Prior to the injury, Wennberg was just heating up offensively—points in four straight (two goals, three assists). As for Dubinsky, he recently returned to practice, but his return to the lineup is not imminent. He does plan to keep the visor moving forward.

Additional Reading

Cannon colleague, Pale Dragon, covered one of the ongoing trends with Columbus this season.

Joonas Korpisalo has been aboard the I-71 to Cleveland and back quite frequently, just to get some playing time. Following Friday’s loss to Vancouver, Korpisalo was sent down on a conditioning assignment, along with Tyler Motte. This will be something to monitor as the season presses on. Bobrovsky leads all goaltenders in games played (38).

John Tortorella referenced the decision to pick his goaltender on a game-to-game basis, and Bobrovsky struggled when he had additional rest earlier this season. Still, it feels like a dangerous predicament, and the pundits will cite the potential fatigue factor if things unravel in the playoffs—or before. (Off between Nov. 28-Dec. 1: December: 4-6-2, 3.46 GAA, .891 SV%).

Coincidence, or not, who knows. But Tortorella definitely referenced as much.

Ryan Real talks about ways to spend the bye week. One topic inside was pondering potential Blue Jackets trades, which segue’s to the Jack Johnson situation.

Finally, here’s what lies ahead with the rest of the Blue Jackets’ schedule following the All-Star Break.

February

February is huge for Columbus as they face 10 Metropolitan foes.

  • 13 games
  • Seven home
  • Six away
  • Three back-to-backs
  • Trade Deadline Monday, Feb. 26

Friday, Feb. 2
Sharks

Saturday, Feb. 3
@ Islanders

How They Did
Oct. 6 CBJ 5 NYI 0 W
Dec. 14 CBJ 6 NYI 4 W

Tuesday, Feb. 6
Capitals

How They Did
Dec. 2 WSH 4 CBJ 3

After facing the Capitals just once, back in November, Columbus gets three doses of Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, and Co., including a home-and-home Feb. 6 and 9th.

Friday, Feb. 9
@ Capitals

Saturday, Feb. 10
Devils

How They Did
Dec. 5 CBJ 5 NJ 3
Dec. 8 NJ 4 CBJ 1

The Devils have been among the surprise clubs in the entire league, and like Columbus, find themselves thick in the Metropolitan race, yet have lost six-straight.

Tuesday, Feb. 13
@ Islanders

Valentine’s Day North of the Border
@ Maple Leafs

How They Did
Dec. 20 CBJ 3 TOR 2 OT
Jan. 8 CBJ 4 TOR 2

Columbus can sweep the season series after the improbable come-from-behind win to stun the crowd at Air Canada Centre on the 8th.

Friday, Feb. 16
Flyers

How They Did
Dec. 23 CBJ 2 PHI 1 SO

Sunday, Feb. 18
Penguins

How They Did
Dec. 21 PIT 5 CBJ 4 SO
Dec. 27 PIT 3 CBJ 2 SO

Two heartbreakers, two points. Columbus has to find a way to break through.

Tuesday, Feb. 20
@ Devils

Thursday, Feb. 22
@ Flyers

Saturday, Feb. 24 - Brandon Saad’s Return
Blackhawks

Does Brandon Saad get a video reception at Nationwide Arena? I mean, Ryan Johansen did more but didn’t get one. Even Scott Hartnell got one in his return.

How They Did
Oct. 7 CHI 5 CBJ 0

Monday, Feb. 26 *Trade Deadline*
Capitals

March

Blue Jackets begin the month with three in California and end March with three in Western Canada. They will face Metropolitan opponents just twice.

  • 16 games
  • Seven Home
  • Nine Away
  • Month features the last of back-to-backs with three sets

Thursday, Mar. 1
@ Kings

How They Did
Oct. 21 L.A. 6 CBJ 4

Friday, Mar. 2
@ Ducks

How They Did
Dec. 1 CBJ 4 ANA 2

Sunday, Mar. 4
@ Sharks

Tuesday, Mar. 6
Golden Knights

Thursday, Mar. 8
Avalanche

How They Did
Jan. 4 COL 2 CBJ 0

Friday, Mar. 9
Red Wings

How They Did
Nov. 11 CBJ 2 DET 1 SO

Monday, Mar. 12
Canadiens

How They Did
Nov. 27 MON 3 CBJ 1
Nov. 14 CBJ 2 MON 1 OT

Thursday, Mar. 15
@ Flyers

Saturday, Mar. 17
Senators

How They Did
Dec. 29 OTT 5 CBJ 4
Nov. 24 CBJ 5 OTT 2

Monday, Mar. 19
@ Bruins

How They Did
Dec. 18 BOS 7 CBJ 2
Oct. 30 CBJ 4 BOS 3

Tuesday, Mar. 20
@ Rangers

Nov. 17 CBJ 2 NYR 0
Nov. 6 NYR 5 CBJ 3
Oct. 13 CBJ 3 NYR 1

Thursday, Mar. 22
Panthers

How They Did
Jan. 7 CBJ 3 FLA 2 SO
Nov. 2 CBJ 7 FLA 3

Saturday, Mar. 24
Blues

How They Did
Oct. 28 STL 4 CBJ 1

Tuesday, Mar. 27
Oilers

How They Did
Dec. 12 EDM 7 CBJ 2

Thursday, Mar. 29
Flames

How They Did
Nov. 22 CBJ 1 CAL 0 OT

Saturday, Mar. 31
@ Canucks

How They Did
Jan. 12 VAN 5 CBJ 2

April

Blue Jackets conclude the season with, perhaps, a pivotal final meeting with Pittsburgh, pending playoff implications and seeding.

Tuesday, Apr. 3
Red Wings

Thursday, Apr. 5
Penguins

Saturday, Apr. 7
@ Predators

Seth Jones has more goals and points than Ryan Johansen (five goals, 21 assists, 26 points).

How They Did
Nov. 7 NSH 3 CBJ 1