The stoppable force meets the moveable object.
After the Columbus Blue Jackets went on the road to Nashville and dropped a two game set to the Nashville Predators, the team returns home for a one-off matchup with the Detroit Red Wings, themselves coming off a rout at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Fifth place in the Central hosting seventh place in the Central. Feel the excitement.
Yesterday, it was reported by Aaron Portzline at The Athletic that John Tortorella’s job is not in any danger despite the current five game losing skid.
The Athletic: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen isn’t about to fire coach John Tortorella despite #CBJ five-game losing streak and downward slide in Central Divisionhttps://t.co/yKKWT2GqjS pic.twitter.com/wFAU5UvuNT— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) March 1, 2021
“We’re all part of it,” he told The Athletic late last week. “We always talk about winning as a team and losing as a team. Well, we all have to take responsibility, starting with myself, the coaching staff, everybody else.
Responses were calm and measured on both sides. GM Jarmo Kekalainen is expected to give public comments in support of Tortorella via a Zoom press conference later on today at 10:20, followed by media availability of the head coach.
As for what to expect tonight? Who knows. Detroit is bad, but they had two more wins last week than Columbus did. Columbus has lost 5 straight, including two lack luster efforts to Nashville where the players looked to be going through the motions with no energy or hustle.
One thing is for certain, though - a loss tonight takes “a lot of warning lights on this engine” to “five alarm fire.” A loss drops Columbus to just two points ahead of the Red Wings in the standings. Will things change? Or will the current downward trajectory continue?
Playoff chances over the past fortnight. pic.twitter.com/axAeqGANib— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 1, 2021
We’ll find out tonight.
Player to Watch
After starting his stint with his hometown team on a hot streak, Roslovic has significantly cooled off lately. Roslovic has just four points in his last eight games, with no goals. Roslovic might not be the long term answer in the top six, but he’s easily been the best center on a nightly basis since he arrived here. For Columbus to turn this ship around, they need the hometown kid to start putting the puck in the net. Nothing like a get right game tonight to start doing that.
The Blue Jackets are set to welcome fans back into Nationwide Arena tonight for the first time in 366 days ... The Blue Jackets are 6-6-4 in games where they score first this season ... Columbus has allowed 31 goals in second periods this year, scoring just 14 of their own ... Seth Jones has 11 points in his last 13 games
The Other Bench
Patrik Nemeth was added to the NHL’s COVID protocol list ... Thomas Greiss finally let his frustrations show after the Wings’ loss to Chicago, shattering his stick over the cross bar in his anger ... the Red Wings scored their first power play goal in 41 tries on Saturday ... Evgeny Svechnikov has two goals in his last two games
01/18/21 CBJ 3 @ DET 2
01/19/21 CBJ 2 @ DET 3 (OT)
03/02/21 DET @ CBJ
03/27/21 CBJ @ DET
03/28/21 CBJ @ DET
04/27/21 DET @ CBJ
05/07/21 DET @ CBJ
05/08/21 DET @ CBJ
|2.13 (30)||GPG||2.65 (22)|
|3.25 (26)||GAPG||3.26 (28)|
|8.8% (30)||PP%||17.2% (22)|
|69.7% (30)||PK%||73.1% (26)|
|47.87% (27)||5v5 Corsi %||45.66% (31)|
|47.81% (27)||5v5 Fenwick %||46.50% (29)|
|7.13% (25)||5v5 Shot %||7.94% (17)|
|.919 (19)||5v5 Save %||.914 (24)|
|Bobby Ryan, 6||G Leader||Cam Atkinson, 9|
|Filip Hronek, 10||A Leader||Seth Jones, 11|
|Bobby Ryan, 12||P Leader||Cam Atkinson, 17|
|Bobby Ryan, 23||PIM Leader||Max Domi and Oliver Bjorkstrand, 23|
|4-6-2||Home / Road||3-6-2|
|Patrik Laine||Jack Roslovic||Cam Atkinson|
|Max Domi||Kevin Stenlund||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Boone Jenner||Alexandre Texier||Nick Foligno|
|Eric Robinson||Riley Nash||Emil Bemstrom|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Gabriel Carlsson||David Savard|
|Michael Del Zotto||Vladislav Gavrikov|
|Bobby Ryan||Robby Fabbri||Anthony Mantha|
|Filip Zadina||Vladislav Namestnikov||Sam Gagner|
|Darren Helm||Luke Glendening||Adam Erne|
|Frans Nielsen||Valtteri Filppula||Evgeny Svechnikov|
|Dan DeKeyser||Filip Hronek|
|Marc Staal||Jon Merrill|
|Christian Djoos||Alex Biega|