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Game #9 Preview: Blue Jackets Try To Break Losing Streak As They Travel To St. Louis To Take On Blues

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Here’s what you need to know.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at St. Louis Blues
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 8:00 EST
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: St. Louis Game Time

Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-4-0, 8 points, 5th Metro, 11th East
@
St. Louis Blues, 2-3-3, 7 points, 7th Central, 13th West

Can the Blue Jackets make it three straight losses by a score of 4-1? Let’s hope not. The Blue Jackets played well in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night and got caved in on Tuesday night by the Arizona Coyotes in which the Jackets looked a mess in their own zone, committed 13 giveaways, and generally looked like a team that wanted to get off the ice quickly. Despite welcoming back Seth Jones, who played a game high in minutes while shaking off the rust, the Jackets could not play with any organization in their own zone. After playing their best game of the season on Saturday in the loss (according to the coaching staff - not your intrepid preview writer, mind you), the Jackets laid an absolute egg on home ice.

Tonight, the Blue Jackets travel to visit the St. Louis Blues, a team that has started slowly this season. Despite David Perron and Ryan O’Reilly playing well, the team is missing free agent signing Paul Stastny. In addition, the defense has yet to truly mesh with Jay Bouwmeester struggling to open the season.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have to get back on track tonight and put in a solid performance. The Blues are a physical team that plays like the Jackets do. If there was ever a chance to right the ship, it’s tonight. The team has to find a spark tonight and get things going in the right direction - it is still early in the season, but every point matters and the team cannot afford to fall too far behind in the standings and let things spiral out of control early due to a slow start.

Player To Watch

Ryan O’Reilly

Ryan O’Reilly was traded to St. Louis this summer in a blockbuster that saw the center move to the third team in his career. O’Reilly, despite two 60 point seasons for the Sabres, had worn out his welcome after comments where he said that the Sabres had become “stuck in this mindset of just being OK with losing” while he admitting losing his love of the game playing for the Sabres. He was traded for a king’s ransom, including a first and second round pick.

Since arriving in St. Louis, O’Reilly has rediscovered his game. Through his first eight games in St. Louis, O’Reilly has managed to put up ten points and has helped settle the second line in second line. Slowing O’Reilly down will likely fall to the pairing of Markus Nutivaara and Ryan Murray tonight.

Jackets Notes

Coach Tortorella mentioned on 97.1 The Fan yesterday that he will be trying out a line of Nick Foligno - Boone Jenner - Josh Anderson tonight, because any time you have a chance to make a line without a true center on it that will likely get 17 minutes, you just have to do it. .... The team started practice yesterday with a three minute meeting on the blue line following the no-show at home against the Arizona Coyotes. ... Brandon Dubinsky skated on his own in full gear yesterday in the Ice Haus. He skated two weeks after his injury, which was estimated to have a recovery time of four to six weeks.

The Other Bench

St Louis comes into the game on the heels of a three game Canadian road trip that saw the Blues go 1-1-1. This is the first of seven straight home games for the Blues, who have started slowly this season but have an opportunity to right the ship and bank points during an October homestand. The Blues have beaten the Blue Jackets the last three times the teams have met at the Scottrade Center.

David Perron and Ryan O’Reilly are the keys to the Blues offense early, with nine and ten points in eight games respectively. Vladimir Tarasenko, who has just six points thus far, remains a constant offensive threat as well for the Blues. Robert Bortuzzo (injury) and Robby Fabbri (conditioning assignment) will both miss the game.

Season Series

10/25/2018 CBJ @ STL
02/02/2019 STL @ CBJ

Stats

St. Louis Columbus
3.13 (18) GPG 3.00 (19)
3.63 (26) GAPG 3.75 (28)
27.8% (8) PP% 12.5% (27)
82.1% (11) PK% 72.0% (24)
46.02% (26) EV Corsi % 52.14% (10)
0.974 (26) EV PDO 0.968 (28)
David Perron, 5 G Leader Cam Atkinson and Josh Anderson, 4
Ryan O’Reilly, 8 A Leader Artemi Panarin, 6
Ryan O’Reilly, 10 P Leader Artemi Panarin, 9
Jay Bouwmeester, 10 PIM Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 12
1-2-1 Home / Road 2-1-0
2-3-3 Last 10 4-4-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Sonny Milano Alexander Wennberg Anthony Duclair
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Josh Anderson
Lukas Sedlak Riley Nash Oliver Bjorkstrand
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Scott Harrington David Savard
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
St. Louis Blues
Jaden Schwartz Brayden Schenn Vladimir Tarasenko
Zach Stanford Ryan O’Reilly David Perron
Pat Maroon Tyler Bozak Alexander Steen
Sammy Blais Ivan Barbashev Jordan Kyrou
Vince Dunn Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson Jay Bouwmeester
Colton Parayko Jordan Schmaltz
Jake Allen
Carter Hutton