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Panthers at Blue Jackets Preview: Is This Your King?

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The Blue Jackets look to win their tenth straight in a critical matchup with the playoffs on the line.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Litter Box Cats
Game Faceoff

Game Preview

The real question is, “What are thooooooooooose?!”

Those are no longer sneakers. The Columbus Blue Jackets are not sneaking up on anyone anymore. The Blue Jackets are in the midst of a nine game winning streak that has seen them go from a tight playoff battle for the second wildcard to third place in the Metropolitan Division. They have a real chance to avoid the Wild Card which would, of course, likely mean another matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Y’all sittin’ up here comfortable.

The Blue Jackets have not seriously threatened the teams at the top of the division since around Thanksgiving. Since then, they’ve suffered injuries, goal scoring slumps, a drop out of the wild card standings, and upheaval among the fanbase. The front office shook things up at the trade deadline and brought in Thomas Vanek, Mark Letestu, and Ian Cole. The rest has been history as the Jackets have vaulted over several teams (including erasing the games in hand advantage that the Florida Panthers had).

I’ve waited my whole life for this.

The Jackets control their own destiny to make the playoffs, and they can take a huge step forward toward making them tonight with a win against the Florida Panthers. The magic number is at 14 points. The Jackets are that close to making the playoffs two seasons in a row for the first time in franchise history. I’ve waited my whole life for this.

The Jackets were off yesterday, and will have a morning skate today before the game. Lukas Sedlak will draw in as Brandon Dubinsky is a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Also, Seth Jones will be a game time decision. Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to play tonight in net for this monstrous matchup. Let’s make it ten in a row tonight and solidify our playoff positioning even further.

Wakanda Columbus forever!

Probable Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Nick Foligno Cam Atkinson
Sonny Milano Pierre-Luc Dubois Oliver Bjorkstrand
Boone Jenner Alexander Wennberg Thomas Vanek
Matt Calvert Mark Letestu Lukas Sedlak
Zach Werenski Jack Johnson
Ian Cole David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Florida Panthers
Evgeny Dadonov Aleksander Barkov Nick Bjugstad
Jonathan Huberdeau Vincent Trocheck Denis Malgin
Jamie McGinn Jared McCann Frank Vatrano
Michael Haley Derek Mackenzie Colton Sceviour
Keith Yandle Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson Mark Pysyk
Ian McCoshen Mackenzie Weeger
Roberto Luongo
James Reimer

UPDATE, 11:01 A.M.

Aaron Portzline dropped this nugget. We may have a changing of the guard on the blue line tonight.