Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-5-0, 12 points, 5th Metro, 10th East
San Jose Sharks, 6-3-3, 15 points, 1st Pacific, 5th West
The Columbus Blue Jackets embark on the first leg of their annual California road trip tonight as they visit the San Jose Sharks. The Blue Jackets are looking to settle down and find their game after an up and down start to the season that saw the first ten games miniaturized in the eleventh: struggles early, a comeback where the team played well and direct, before shoddy defense and collapses late buried them in a 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
In the Sharks, the Jackets find an opponent who is winning but perhaps not at the clip many expected when they acquired the best rental player on the market this summer, defenseman Erik Karlsson. The Sharks have a PDO of just 0.967 early though, and their underlying possession numbers are solid - the Sharks seem poised to break out and go on a run sooner rather than later.
The Blue Jackets will have to play defensively sound hockey, limit mistakes, and play within their system for a full sixty minutes to have a chance on the road tonight. (Lord I sound like a coach). Here’s hoping they can do it.
Player to Watch
Erik Karlsson was traded to the San Jose Sharks this past summer along with Francis Perron for forward Chris Tierney, defenseman Dylan DeMelo and prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers to the Senators, in addition to a conditional 2020 first-round draft pick and conditional 2019 second-round pick. Karlsson has put up seven assists for seven points in his first 12 games with his new club, a slow start (49 point pace) for the two time Norris Trophy winner. Karlsson has scored 16 goals in four of the last five seasons, however, so do not expect his slump to last. The Blue Jackets will have to pay close attention to defensive resonsibilities and not let Karlsson get loose.
Brandon Dubinsky made the California trip with the team, indicating that he could be back on this trip. It would mark an earlier return than the four to six weeks he was originally estimated at, but Dubinsky himself claimed he could return on this trip after having practiced with the team since last week ... Columbus is 6 for 44 on the power play this season, ranked 26th in the league at 13.6%, and the team has one goal in 26 chances on home ice, including an 0-22 streak that dates to the Colorado Avalanche home game on October 9 ... The Blue Jackets are not making any changes to the defensive pairings, despite Scott Harrington ranking 590/592 skaters with 50+ TOI in xGF%, giving up countless scoring chances while he is on the ice.
The Other Bench
The Sharks come into the game following a shootout loss to the New York Rangers that saw Tomas Hertl tie the game and salvage a point with two seconds to go in regulation ... The Sharks also welcomed Joe Thornton back into the lineup Tuesday night after he missed nine games with an infection in his knee. The Sharks have played inconsistently to open the season, but should regain stability with Thornton back in the lineup ... Sharks coach Pete DeBoer recognizes that the Blue Jackets’ desperation after the loss to Detroit will be a key to counter. “We have to be able to match that (level of desperation), or at least play at that level,” DeBoer said [via NBC Sports]. “We had guys in position. The detail I think was there. It’s just the desperation level to win battles.”
11/01/2018 CBJ @ SJS
02/23/2019 SJS @ CBJ
|3.42 (10)||GPG||3.55 (5)|
|2.83 (13)||GAPG||3.91 (29)|
|21.9% (14)||PP%||13.6% (26)|
|86.7% (6)||PK%||71.4% (26)|
|57.83% (3)||EV Corsi %||51.60% (10)|
|0.967 (30)||EV PDO||0.993 (19)|
|Timo Meier, 9||G Leader||Cam Atkinson and Josh Anderson, 6|
|Brent Burns, 12||A Leader||Artemi Panarin, 10|
|Brent Burns, 15||P Leader||Artemi Panarin, 15|
|Evander Kane, 25||PIM Leader||Pierre-Luc Dubois, 16|
|2-1-1||Home / Road||3-1-0|
|Artemi Panarin||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Cam Atkinson|
|Nick Foligno||Boone Jenner||Josh Anderson|
|Anthony Duclair||Alexander Wennberg||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Lukas Sedlak||Riley Nash||Markus Hannikainen|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Ryan Murray||Markus Nutivaara|
|Scott Harrington||David Savard|
|Timo Meier||Joe Thornton||Joe Pavelski|
|Tomas Hertl||Logan Couture||Kevin Labanc|
|Evander Kane||Antti Suomela||Joonas Donskoi|
|Marcus Sorensen||Barclay Goodrow||Melker Karlsson|
|Joakim Ryan||Brent Burns|
|Marc-Edouard Vlasic||Justin Braun|
|Brenden Dillon||Erik Karlsson|