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Game 2 Preview: Let’s keep this train rolling in Toronto

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I mean, let’s just do Sunday night again.

NHL: Eastern Conference Qualifications-Columbus Blue Jackets vs Toronto Maple Leafs Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 4:00 EST
Scotiabank Arena - Toronto, Ontario
TV: Fox Sports Ohio & NBCSN; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-15, 81 points, 6th Metro, 9th East)

vs.

Toronto Maple Leafs (36-25-9, 81 points, 3rd Atlantic, 8th East)

Game 1: 2-0 win, Columbus.

So who had Joonas Korpisalo with the first CBJ franchise playoff game shutout on their 2020 Apocalypse bingo card?

Not me! But I’m thrilled. So weird to have something to be thrilled about this year! Thank God for bubble hockey.

Anyways, Game 2 is today, and although I’m bolstered and encouraged by the Blue Jackets’ Game 1 performance, I’m keeping my hopes in check for Game 2. Korpi had a career-highlight game last night - one that will be hard to top.

The Jackets’ defense was airtight - MrSwift13 put it best Sunday night in his recap when he wrote, “The forecheck, the defensive system, and the goaltender. The players working in tandem, confident together, won this hockey game. No shots on net for Toronto in the final 6:12. Unreal.”

The Jackets truly did create an impenetrable situation for the Maple Leafs, which was then hilarious and gratifying to see the Leafs fanbase up in arms after their team’s frustrating performance.

I’m not bothered by the Columbus Blue Jackets slander coming from around the league; it just makes it that much more satisfying when non-CBJ hockey fans sit around and scratch their heads and can’t figure out why they keep losing to a team that apparently lacks [insert literally any criticism here].

2019-20 Regular Season Stats

Toronto Columbus
3.39 (3) GPG 2.57 (28)
3.17 (26) GAPG 2.61 (4)
23.1% (5) PP% 16.4% (27)
77.7% (21) PK% 81.7% (12)
52.0% (6) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 49.2% (19)
51.3% (9) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 50.9% (11)
8.6 (9) 5v5 Shot % 6.8 (28)
.912 (25) 5v5 Save % .928 (5)
Auston Matthews, 47 G Leader Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 21
Mitch Marner, 51 A Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 31
Auston Matthews, 80 P Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 49
Justin Holl, 43 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, 62
18-9-7 Home/Away 13-10-11
5-4-1 Last 10 3-4-3

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Alexandre Texier Pierre-Luc Dubois Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Gustav Nyquist Boone Jenner Liam Foudy
Eric Robinson Riley Nash Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Ryan Murray Dean Kukan
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander Auston Matthews Zach Hyman
Ilya Mikheyev John Tavares Mitch Marner
Nick Robertson Alexaner Kerfoot Kasperi Kapanen
Kyle Clifford Frederik Gauthier Jason Spezza
Jake Muzzin Justin Holl
Morgan Rielly Cody Ceci
Travis Dermott Tyson Barrie
Frederik Andersen
Jack Campbell