Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Defending Big D
Dallas Stars (5-1-1, 11 points, 4th Central)
Columbus Blue Jackets (4-4-3, 11 points, 5th Central)
Well, Tuesday could have gone better.
The Jackets fell hard to the Dallas Stars, 6-3. It honestly could have been worse - the Jackets mustered a late-game push with two goals in the third period, but it wasn’t enough against the Stars, who ran away with the game in the second period.
It wasn’t the debut anyone hoped to see from Patrik Laine, but he was completely set up for failure - he had just been activated off the IR and had just started playing with his teammates that day. So I will happily pretend that tonight is his actual debut and that Tuesday was just a crappy dry run, and I invite all of you to join me in that Laine of thinking (ha ha, I will probably stop with the Laine puns at some point but there is no guarantee).
So what do the Jackets need to do tonight to right the ship? Well, John Tortorella has challenged them to find their identity - right now, they look like a team without a purpose, a boat without a rudder, a road trip without a destination. In theory, the pieces are there - and we see gleaming moments of promise, such as a power play goal from Seth Jones, that inflate hope in our chests, only to be viciously popped by something like five goals in two periods by an opponent.
Torts has challenged his team to play Blue Jackets hockey tonight in a rematch with the Stars. Here's what that means.https://t.co/PlEnrcRVD4— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 4, 2021
Player to Watch
Patrik Laine (again)
Like I said, we’re giving him a do-over. His post-game interview was blunt and encouraging on Tuesday - he owned his mistakes and seems to know what he needs to do to be better.
Here are his comments, if you missed them:
Today is Liam Foudy’s birthday - it’s also Mark Letestu, Manny Legace, and Dave Maetzold’s birthday. Big week for Blue Jackets birthdays, JLGP’s was Tuesday! Who knew the org leaned so heavily Aquarius? Also, Riley Nash, who missed Tuesday’s game due to the birth of his son Rhett Nash (congratulations, Clare and Riley!) will be back in tonight for Liam Foudy, who is heading up to Cleveland.
New dad Riley Nash on the birth of his son Rhett on Tuesday: "There's nothing really to describe that feeling of holding your own child for the first time. It's pretty crazy. The whole experience was really cool. Each day gets better and better." #CBJ— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 4, 2021
Joonas Korpisalo will start in net tonight, after finishing out the game on Tuesday for Elvis Merzlikins.
Tonight is also Hockey Fights Cancer night for the Blue Jackets, and this year is even more personal than most - everyone at The Cannon is so grateful for the work you do, Jeff Svoboda, and we are behind you every step of the way during your recovery!
A bit of a personal post:— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 4, 2021
It's the annual #CBJ Hockey Fights Cancer Night, and it won't be the same without a full house at Nationwide Arena.
And it's a different perspective for me this year, as in November, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.https://t.co/ZWtgAGcBAb
The Other Bench
Despite some postponed games to start their season, the Dallas Stars have clearly hit the ground running - they overcame CBJ in the Central standings after Tuesdays game, trading with CBJ from fifth to fourth.
02/02/2021 DAL @ CBJ
02/04/2021 DAL @ CBJ
03/04/2021 CBJ @ DAL
03/06/2021 CBJ @ DAL
03/13/2021 DAL @ CBJ
03/15/2021 DAL @ CBJ
04/15/2021 CBJ @ DAL
04/17/2021 CBJ @ DAL
|4.14 (2)||GPG||2.36 (27)|
|2.29 (5)||GAPG||3.00 (17)|
|40.6% (3)||PP%||13.8% (23)|
|78.1% (19)||PK%||80.0% (14)|
|48.4% (19)||5v5 Shot Attempt %||46.8% (28)|
|48.8% (21)||5v5 Unblocked shot attempt %||46.7% (25)|
|10.3 (6)||5v5 Shot %||7.7 (17)|
|.934 (5)||5v5 Save %||.925 (11)|
|Joe Pavelski, 7||G Leader||Alexandre Texier, 4|
|John Klingberg, 8||A Leader||Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 5|
|Joe Pavelski, 14||P Leader||Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 8|
|Mark Pysyk, 8||PIM Leader||Oliver BJORKSTRAND, 23|
|1-1-1||Home / Road||2-1-2|
|Alexandre Texier||Max Domi||Patrik Laine|
|Eric Robinson||Jack Roslovic||Cam Atkinson|
|Mikhail Grigorenko||Riley Nash||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Boone Jenner||Mikko Koivu||Nick Foligno|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Vladislav Gavrikov||David Savard|
|Michael Del Zotto||Dean Kukan|
|Jason Dickinson||Roope Hintz||Denis Gurianov|
|Andrew Cogliano||Blake Comeau||Radek Faksa|
|Jamie Benn||Joe Pavelski||Alexander Radulov|
|Tanner Kero||Joel L'Esperance||Nick Caamano|
|Esa Lindell||John Klingberg|
|Miro Heiskanen||Jamie Oleksiak|
|Joel Hanley||Mark Pysyk|