The Columbus Blue Jackets have finally completed their four game set against the Carolina Hurricanes with a respectable 2-1-1 record and the 5 points that come with it. At the start of that series, I thought 5+ would be a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, Nashville took 6 of 8 in their last four games, Dallas went 2-1-1 and remain with 4 games in hand, and Chicago went 2-2-0 allowing the Jackets to only gain 1 measly point on them. As my fellow Cannonites have recently debated, the Bettman point helps a team like Columbus stay in the race, but it also makes it difficult to change position in the race.
This is not a concern for Detroit. The Red Wings went 1-3-0 in their last four games — completely eschewing the Bettman point. I admire their dedication to the basic simplicity of regulation wins and regulation losses. They just aren’t good at the winning part of the equation.
‘But El, Detroit only has one fewer ROW and the same number of RW as the Jackets’ - you say. Key word....’fewer’. The rest is static.
What Detroit does have is Dylan Larkin. You’ll hear the same story about him and Zach Werenski on Saturday. Probably on Sunday, too. Just trade Werenski to Detroit, already! However, the funny thing about Larkin is that he does not lead Detroit in goals or assists or scoring. Filip Hronek, a defenseman, does have 17 assists which is pretty good. A fellow internet sports commenting forum member likes to call Detroit ‘little brother’ these days — with good reason. The Jackets have abused Detroit for years now. It’s fun. I hope for that to continue.
As for the Jackets, they have a plethora of 4th liners. So many that Tortorella can’t choose which ones to sit and which to play! It’s a difficult thing to deal with - so much potential energy just sitting in the press box. Safer, really, to sit more offensively skilled players instead. Though, the word is that Alexandre Texier has moved up from the taxi squad. I’m also hoping for an Elvis start. I enjoy Elvis starts.
Player To Watch
Ah geez...*blows raspberry*...let’s see. How about Michael Del Zotto? Why? In the last 5 games, his stat line is straight zeroes. No points, no penalties, no plus/minus, just a couple of shots. Does that mean he isn’t being noticed? I dunno. I don’t recall, so I guess it does mean exactly that. That’s what you want from a third pairing guy.
Columbus is 2-0-1 against Detroit this season - most recently a 4-1 victory featuring a Riley Nash game winner.
I’ll add something here by noon-ish since the game starts at 3.
UPDATE: How many 4th liners can we have in the lineup? Always room for more!
UPDATE2: One 4th liner (Nash) removed for someone probably better (Tex)?
Stats (Slow motion train wreck below. Yikes)
|2.12 (30)||GPG||2.56 (T24)|
|3.32 (T26||GAPG||3.15 (T23)|
|12.0% (29)||PP%||15.5% (26)|
|71.4% (31)||PK%||74.7% (25)|
|46.0% (31||5v5 Corsi %||46.4% (29)|
|45.6% (31)||5v5 Fenwick %||47.50% (T26)|
|7.0% (28)||5v5 Shot %||7.7% (T18)|
|.920 (16)||5v5 Save %||.915 (25)|
|Robby Fabbri, 9||G Leader||Cam Atkinson and Oliver Goalstrand, 12|
|Filip Hronek, 17||A Leader||Helperstrand, 16|
|Hronek, 18||P Leader||Pointstrand, 28|
|Bobby Ryan, 27||PIM Leader||Max Domi, 37|
|7-8-3||Home / Road||6-7-2|