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Game #30 Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets seek low scoring game against Washington Capitals

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Why, that’s some nice, heavy armor ya got there, Goliath!

Washington Capitals v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Monday, December 9, 2019 - 7:00 EST

Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia

TV: FSOH; Radio: 97.1 FM

Opponent’s Blog: Japers’ Rink

Columbus Blue Jackets (11-14-4, 26 pts, 7th Metro, 13th East)

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Washington Capitals (22-4-5, 49 pts, 1st Metro, 1st East)

The Washington Capitals have been the best team in the Metro from Day One. They’ve dropped just four games in regulation and their worst stretch of play resulted in a 3-2-1 record over 6 games. That’s…pretty good. The Caps are currently on a 6 game winning streak which includes a sweep of their Western road trip. Washington’s offense has been hitting on all cylinders all season – they lead the league in goals and other fun offensive things that Jackets fans aren’t familiar with this year. For good measure, their goaltending, which was slightly wobbly early, has also rounded into form…or at least close to league average. Still, that’s the Achilles’ heel for the Capitals – they can be scored on.

Of course, that’s also something that can be accomplished against the Blue Jackets. Team defense has been good at shot suppression this season, but despite that, enough have found the back of the net and the anemic Columbus offense is rarely able to respond.

Forget Bread. Forget Bob. That offense is the true storyline for the Jackets. That putrid, terrible, ineffective, inconsequential, forgettable offense. The worst part? Can’t even yell “Fire Larsen” at the TV anymore.

The Jackets enter this game on a four game losing streak – all in regulation. Because these are the Jackets, you know they’ll do something stupid and win this one by a coupla goals. I hope so, anyway. I’ll be in attendance!

Player to Watch

Cam Atkinson

I was going to choose someone else after Cam finally scored a 5v5 goal. Then he decided to chirp at Bob as the Florida game arrived, played invisible hockey for 15 minutes, and was ultimately a non-factor again. So, I want to watch him because I think he might try to redeem himself. He needs to… Cam is no longer on the power play and he hasn’t done anything at all to reclaim that spot.

But, if he does nothing…this is the last time I’ll highlight him here. He won’t be worth watching.

Jackets Notes

I’ve written this before, but Markus Nutivaara continues to skate – most recently with gear on, so he’s getting close!... Zach Werenski was placed on IR retroactive to Nov 30thEmil Bemstrom missed the last period against Florida, no word on if he’ll be ready to play…Andrew Peeke played against dozens of friends and family in Sunrise, Florida. He’s been decent so far…

The Other Bench

Nicklas Backstrom might be returning from injury…I just don’t have much else to say here, the Caps are good and I want to see them lose Monday night.

Season Series

12/09/19 – CBJ @ WAS

12/16/19 – WAS @ CBJ

12/27/19 – CBJ @ WAS

3/19/20 – WAS @ CBJ

Stats

Washington Columbus
3.61 (3) GPG 2.45 (30)
2.77 (11) GAPG 3.10 (19)
24.5% (5) PP% 19.1% (t-13)
84.0% (10) PK% 79.3% (t-18)
50.09% (15) 5v5 Corsi % 50.85% (11) This rings hollow
50.29% (14) 5v5 Fenwick % 52.73% (6) smh
9.5 % (5) 5v5 Shot % 6.2% (30)
.919 (15) 5v5 Save % .917 (17)
Alex Ovechkin, 20 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 10
John Carlson, 32 A Leader Seth Jones, 12
John Carlson, 43 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois and Gustav Nyquist, 18
Garnet Hathaway, 45 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 24
8-2-4 Home / Road 3-6-3
8-1-1 Last 10 4-6-0

Possible Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Nick Foligno Alexandre Texier Cam Atkinson
Josh Anderson Boone Jenner Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eric Robinson Riley Nash Alexander Wennberg
Sonny Milano Pierre-Luc Dubois Gustav Nyquist
Dean Kukan Seth Jones
Ryan Murray David Savard
Andrew Peeke Vladislav Gavrikov
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin Evgeny Kuznetsov Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana Lars Eller T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin Travis Boyd Richard Panik
Brendan Leipsic Nic Dowd Garnet Hathaway
Michal Kempny John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov Nick Jensen
Jonas Siegenthaler Radko Gudas
Braden Holtby
Ilya Samsonov