Coming off an impressive 4-2 win against the Red Wings on Wednesday, the Jackets head down to Missouri for a matchup against the St. Louis Blues. As the regular season opener inches closer, the Blue Jackets’ lineups have been looking more and more as they will once the puck drops on October 14th.
However, that is not the case for tonight’s game, as this one will be played by mostly AHL players and bubble players fighting to make the team. There are still a few battles for the final roster spots that will need to play out over the next two games that could force management to make some tough decisions.
As mentioned above, this will be a game consisting mostly of AHLers and players hoping to make one last good impression to snag one of the final roster spots. Notable names that will take the ice at forward tonight include: Emil Bemstrom, Kevin Stenlund, Liam Foudy, Gregory Hofmann and Justin Danforth. On defense, the battle for the third pair rages on with Andrew Peeke, Gabriel Carlsson, Mikko Lehtonen, Dean Kukan and Scott Harrington all suiting up.
Joonas Korpisalo and Daniil Tarasov are the goalies making the trip. Look for Korpisalo to play most, if not all of the game.
#CBJ tonight in St. Louis— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) October 8, 2021
Friday will serve as the Blues’ final preseason game, so they will probably ice a roster that will closely resemble the one seen opening night. There are some interesting battles for roster spots for St. Louis as well. James Neal came to camp on a PTO and could to be close to receiving a contract. Former Ohio State Buckeye, Dakota Joshua, has had a strong camp as well and looks to secure a bottom six role with the club. Another player fighting for a spot is former teammate of Yegor Chinakhov with Avangard, Klim Kostin. The former first-round pick is hoping to finally stick in the NHL following his most recent stint in Russia, after not having much AHL success in years prior.
Look for the Blues to treat this one as a dress rehearsal for opening night which could make for a rough go for the Jackets.
#stlblues practice lineup:— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) October 7, 2021
Don’t count out Max Domi making his return from surgery much earlier than expected. He participated in practice yesterday without his light blue, non-contact jersey. Domi teased fans as well, giving a cheeky non-answer when asked about opening night.
Question to #CBJ Max Domi: “Opening night … maybe?”— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) October 7, 2021
Domi: “I’m not allowed to say anything. (Laughs) I don’t know. We’ll see."
Props to the Blue Jackets medical staff for allowing Max to explore some non-traditional options in his recovery (a certain other team should take a hint). Whatever route to recovery they chose appears to have worked, and has Domi on track for a return to action that is well in advance of original projections.
#CBJ Max Domi said Blue Jackets medical staff allowed him to see “unorthodox” ways of rehabbing his shoulder post-surgery, including rock-climbing and swimming.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) October 7, 2021
“I tip my cap the organization and the medical staff because that’s a lot of trust. There’s no ego there.”