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Game #45: Blue Jackets look to disrupt Silicon Valley’s hockey team

Here’s what you need to know

NHL: NOV 01 Blue Jackets at Sharks Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 10:30 EST
SAP Center - San Jose, California
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Fear the Fin

Columbus Blue Jackets (21-15-8, 50 points, 6th Metro, 9th East)


San Jose Sharks (19-22-4, 42 points, 6th Pacific, 13th West)

The Blue Jackets enter this game having earned points in 14 of their last 15 games. The one regulation loss? To these very Sharks back on Saturday in Columbus. Here’s hoping they can play better today to complete a sweep of the California road trip.

Player to Watch

Nathan Gerbe

Gerbe Baby has been a poster boy for the recent Jackets resurgence, and specifically for the spark provided by the injury replacements from Cleveland. His hustle has earned him a spot on the first line, and he has rewarded the coaches’ trust by scoring goals in each of the last two games.

Jackets Notes

Cam Atkinson’s return is imminent. He is part of the trip and has been skating with the team. He could be activated from the IR as soon as today ... Zach Werenski has scored seven goals in the last five games, and nine total since returning from injury in mid-December ... Philadelphia beat Washington in regulation last night, so the Jackets are two points behind for the second wild card in the East.

The Other Bench

The Sharks went 2-2-1 on their recently-completed road trip. It ended with a loss to St. Louis in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Final. It’s, uh, it’s looking unlikely that the Sharks will reach that round this year ... In that St. Louis game, captain Logan Couture fractured his ankle in a collision at the boards and is expected to miss at least six weeks. That’s a huge blow for a team that can’t afford another setback ... Aaron Dell got the win in Columbus on Saturday, saving 21 of 23 shots faced. He also started against St. Louis, so I’m predicting that we’ll face Martin Jones. This is good news, as he has been pretty terrible this season; even worse than last year’s disappointment. His save percentage is .890 and his goals against average is 3.19, and only 34.5% of his starts are quality starts. Together, Dell and Jones have the worst 5v5 save percentage in the league.

Season Series

01/04/20 SJS 3 @ CBJ 2
01/09/20 CBJ @ SJS


San Jose Columbus
2.64 (27) GPG 2.66 (26)
3.33 (26) GAPG 2.70 (6)
16.5% (25) PP% 17.0% (24)
88.6% (1) PK% 81.2% (13)
50.0% (14) 5v5 Corsi % 49.3% (18)
49.1% (19) 5v5 Fenwick % 51.5% (9)
8.0 (19) 5v5 Shot % 6.8 (29)
.890 (31) 5v5 Save % .926 (8)
Evander Kane, 18 G Leader Zach Werenski, 15
Erik Karlsson, 27 A Leader Gus Nyquist, 21
Logan Couture, 36 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 33
Evander Kane, 89 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 45
11-11-1 Home / Road 9-6-6
3-5-2 Last 10 7-1-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Pierre-Luc Dubois Nathan Gerbe
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Sonny Milano
Emil Bemstrom Alexander Wennberg Kevin Stenlund
Jakob Lilja Riley Nash Eric Robinson
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Scott Harrington Markus Nutivaara
Elvis Merzlikins
Matiss Kivlenieks
San Jose Sharks
Antti Suomela Tomas Hertl Patrick Marleau
Evander Kane Barclay Goodrow Timo Meier
Marcus Sorensen Joe Thornton Kevin LeBanc
Melker Karlsson Joel Kellman Stefan Noesen
Brenden Dillon Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic Erik Karlsson
Radim Simek Mario Ferraro
Martin Jones
Aaron Dell