New Jersey Devils, 17-23-7, 41 points, 8th Metro, 14th East
Columbus Blue Jackets, 24-16-8, 56 points, 5th Metro, 8th East
Well, the Jackets are officially on a roll.
A gritty win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday slipped the Jackets into a wild card spot. Obviously, nothing is set in stone — but this is an entirely different situation from where the Jackets were at in the beginning of December.
Tonight, we’ll see if the Jackets can notch another win in this streak against the flailing New Jersey Devils.
Player to Watch
Nathan Gerbe has been playing his ass off since he was called up in December — in the 12 games he’s played with the CBJ this season, he’s got three goals and four assists for a total of seven points.
#CBJ Nathan Gerbe has played 10+ games with Blue Jackets (12, to be exact), so he’d need to clear waivers to be sent back to @monstershockey.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 17, 2020
Don’t expect that anytime soon, which is why Gerbe has officially pulled out of the @TheAHL All-Star Game later this month. #AHLAllStar
Every single game, he goes out and strengthens his case for why he should be a regular on the roster even as the Jackets begin to return from some long-term injuries. His work ethic is fun to watch and it will be interesting to see how his hard work is rewarded as the season continues.
John Tortorella hit a milestone with this club this week:
Tonight's result is the 200th win for Tortorella as #CBJ head coach. He's 200-134-35 in 369 games with the Blue Jackets over five seasons. He's the 10th NHL coach all-time to reach 200 wins with two different franchises (239 wins with TBL, 2000-08).— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) January 17, 2020
While choosing arbitrary dates to examine in order to put a team’s statistics in the most flattering perspective isn’t my favorite benchmark for success, this is an interesting and unexpected reality for the Jackets right now:
From Dec. 8 to today, #CBJ are 13-2-4 (30), the best record in the #NHL.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 17, 2020
During that span in Metro, CBJ have gained five points on Pittsburgh, 10 points on Washington and NY Islanders, 11 points on Carolina and NY Rangers, 12 points on New Jersey and 13 points on Philadelphia.
And here’s a look ahead at what a win tonight will mean for the Jackets:
#CBJ can take fourth in the Metro with a win against last-placed NJ Saturday. Only 4 back of third-place Islanders.— William Chase (@willgchase) January 18, 2020
If you need something to tide you over until the game starts at 7 p.m., Cam Atkinson will be featured on NHL Network Ice Time, the network’s weekly show geared towards kids, demonstrating a figure eight drill at 9 p.m. and noon.
The Other Bench
Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood returned from injury and rejoined the Devils in Columbus yesterday. The Devils are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Capitols on Thursday, after having dominated them 5-1 only five days before on January 11. The Devils are on a bit of a losing tear right now, having lost to the Maple Leafs 7-4 on January 14, despite a hat-trick by Blake Coleman. The Devils’ most formidable line as of late has been that of Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac, and Nikita Gusev. The Jackets will need to come out strong and keep this trio under control tonight.
12/21/2019 NJD 1 @ CBJ 5
1/18/2020 NJD @ CBJ
2/16/2020 CBJ @ NJD
3/23/2020 CBJ @ NJD
|2.64 (25)||GPG||2.65 (24)|
|3.49 (30)||GAPG||2.58 (4)|
|14.2% (30)||PP%||17.5% (23)|
|79.4% (17)||PK%||82.0% (11)|
|47.3% (27)||5v5 Corsi %||48.5% (22)|
|47.9% (26)||5v5 Fenwick %||50.6% (12)|
|7.8% (21)||5v5 Shot %||7.0% (27)|
|.906 (29)||5v5 Save %||.930 (6)|
|Blake Coleman, 19||G Leader||Pierre-Luc Dubois, Zach Werenski, 15|
|Nikita Gusev, 20||A Leader||Seth Jones, Gustav Nyquist, 21|
|Kyle Palmieri, 31||P Leader||Pierre-Luc Dubois, 34|
|Wayne Simmonds, 54||PIM Leader||Nick Foligno, 50|
|10-14-0||Home / Road||14-9-2|
|Gustav Nyquist||Boone Jenner||Nick Foligno|
|Emil Bemstrom||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Cam Atkinson|
|Nathan Gerbe||Alexander Wennberg||Kevin Stenlund|
|Jakob Lilja||Riley Nash||Eric Robinson|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Vladislav Gavrikov||David Savard|
|Scott Harrington||Markus Nutivaara|
|Miles Wood||Nico Hischier||Jesper Bratt|
|Blake Coleman||Travis Zajac||Nikita Gusev|
|Pavel Zacha||Jack Hughes||Wayne Simmonds|
|Jesper Boqvist||Michael McLeod||John Hayden|
|Andy Greene||P.K. Subban|
|Damon Severson||Sami Vatanan|
|Will Butcher||Connor Carrick|