Thursday, October 24, 2019 — 7 p.m. EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Canes Country
Carolina Hurricanes (6-3-0, 2nd Metro, 4th Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (4-3-2, 5th Metro, 9th Eastern)
Carolina has now had exactly 12 days to process the loss they were handed by the Blue Jackets the last time they met in Raleigh — the loss that knocked them off their five-game season-starting winning streak and gave the Jackets their first win of the regular season. Something tells me they’re going to do their best to give the Blue Jackets a taste of their own medicine tonight at Nationwide.
It’s been a weird last three games for the team, all ending in OT with only one favoring the Jackets (s/o Gustav Nyquist — you’re the man).
It’s not that the Jackets aren’t shooting... in fact, they are! A lot! Except not on frame. Also, their failure to capitalize on power play opportunities is a huge thorn in their side right now. At a 15.6 percent conversion rate since the beginning of 2017, CBJ is objectively the worst in the NHL at scoring on PPs.
Okay, let’s talk about happier things. The Jackets are coming off a big OT win on Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs — who, as you might recall, handed our asses to us on our Opening Night a mere three weeks ago. That’s growth, and we love to see it.
Meanwhile, this game will conclude a four-game road-trip for the Hurricanes, and they’re coming off a mini losing streak, falling to both the Sharks and Ducks last week. The ‘Canes don’t have one single hot scorer right now, but their biggest offensive threats are the usual suspects: Erik Haula, Dougie Hamilton, Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov, and good ol’ Ryan Dzingel.
James Reimer is sitting at a .918 save percentage to Joonas Korpisalo’s .905 — Reimer and Petr Mrazek (.893) each have played five games this season, compared to Korpi’s seven and Elvis Merzlikens’ (.863) two.
Considering all variables, the odds seem like they would be in our favor — but the Blue Jackets are the epitome of defying odds, so it’s still hard to say who will come out on top. We’ll see!