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Game #69 Preview: Jackets head to Edmonton to face Caleb Jones and his Oilers

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Nice.

Edmonton Oilers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 10:00 EST

Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM

Opponent’s Blog: Copper and Blue

Edmonton Oilers (36-24-8, 80 pts, 2nd Pacific, 5th West)

Hosting

Columbus Blue Jackets (32-21-15, 79 pts, 4th Metro, 7th East)

The Columbus Blue Jackets continue the Western Canada roadtrip in Edmonton to take on the Oilers. The good news! Jones will be back on the blue line! Caleb Jones. For the other team.

The Oil have been led by a dynamic, powerhouse centerman who is in the midst of a ridiculous scoring binge. Leon Draisatl has a 43-67-110 point line. He also has a decent sidekick in Connor McDavid (32-63-95) who came back from injury to chip in on offense a little bit. In some ways, this has happened before – McDavid and Draisatl teaming up to be Edmonton’s only offense. Except…that’s not quite the case. Edmonton finally decided to split up the power pair. Could Draisatl carry his own line? Uh..yeah. Would it negatively impact McDavid? Nope! Will Ryan Nugent-Hopkins get any kind of help? 21-38-59 implies ‘Yes’.

How good does this trade look now?!

The chink in Edmonton’s armor, and it’s probably larger than a chink, remains their defense (17th in GA) and perhaps an average goaltending duo, though Mikko Koskinen has been better than that lately. That’s papered over by the very good special teams. The best power play in the league may not be a surprise…the second-best penalty kill might be. If Columbus is going to do any damage, it’s more likely to come in normal 5v5 play.

At least I can claim that I kinda saw this coming. I was the only writer to put Edmonton in the playoffs. Nevermind my Stanley Cup winners.

The Blue Jackets are coming off an overtime loss to the Calgary Flames in which the team gave up an early 2-0 lead. The team was fairly outplayed for most of the game, but it seemed the defense would hold. It didn’t. At least a point was banked. Two points would be a nice thing, but the Oilers are going to be a tough opponent to do it against. Columbus has been able to put up at least 3 goals in 5 of their last 7 games. It just isn’t something that we can expect. The defense will have to stay tight and Korpisalo is going to have to keep his cool. I’d be pretty happy if Columbus can come away with a similar result to the Calgary game. It would be good if someone other than Zach Werenski can be a consistent offensive threat, but it’s more likely that scoring by committee will continue to be the only route for the Jackets.

Player to Watch

Pierre-Luc Dubois

PLD has been the top point scorer for the CBJ this season but has, at times, also been noticeably…absent? Malleable? Tranquil? Pick a word that you like best as long as it means that he hasn’t always been present or that he’s been pushed around. He does have 1-3-4 in his last 5 games but the Jackets need more from the team’s #1 center. Perhaps he’ll get fired up by seeing Draisatl and McDavid skating around.

Jackets Notes

The team went dog sledding on their off-day…this included Elvis Merzlikins, who may play against Vancouver…Werenski’s 20 goals leads all defensemen in the league…Elvis’ 5 shutouts remains tied for first in the league…CBJ’s 2-4-4 record in their last 10 games has still allowed them to gain 2 pts on the New York Islanders and remain even with Carolina Hurricanes

The Other Bench

If it wasn’t for Draisatl and McDavid, this team wouldn’t be all that good!...James Neal sits at 19 goals. He needs two more for a fun condition to kick in from his trade…Kailer Yamamoto, 11-13-24, has been a sparkplug for Edmonton…Sam Gagner doesn’t play for Edmonton anymore…

Season Series

10/30/2019 EDM @ CBJ – 4-1 Loss

3/7/2020 CBJ @ EDM

Stats

Edmonton Columbus
3.16 (13) GPG 2.60 (27)
3.04 (16) GAPG 2.59 (4)
29.8% (1) PP% 16.9% (25)
84.5% (2) PK% 81.2% (T-13)
48.0% (16) 5v5 Corsi % 48.9% (20)
50.7% (22) 5v5 Fenwick % 51.0% (T-12)
8.5 (13) 5v5 Shot % 6.9 (28)
.910 (28) 5v5 Save % .929 (5)
Leon Draisatl, 43 G Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand, 21
Leon Draisatl, 67 A Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 30
Leon Draisatl, 110 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 48
Zack Kassian, 69 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 62
16-10-5 Home / Road 12-9-11
5-3-2 Last 10 2-4-4

Possible Lineup

Columbus Blue Jackets
Gus Nyquist Boone Jenner Nick Foligno
Stefan Matteau Riley Nash Devin Shore
Alexander Wennberg Pierre-Luc Dubois Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Kevin Stenlund Jakob Lilja
Zach Werenski Ryan Murray
David Savard Vladislav Gavrikov
Markus Nutivaara Andrew Peeke
Joonas Korpisalo
Matiss Kivlenieks
Edmonton Oilers
James Neal Connor McDavid Tyler Ennis
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Leon Draisatl Kailer Yamamoto
Josh Archibald Riley Sheahan Zack Kassian
Andreas Athanasiou Jujhar Khaira Alex Chiasson
Darnell Nurse Ethan Bear
Caleb Jones Adam Larsson
Kris Russell Matt Benning
Mikko Koskinen
Mike Smith