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Game #41 Preview: Blue Jackets search for signs of life against the Rangers

It can’t get any worse than last night, right?

New York Rangers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 The Fan
Opponent’s Blog: Blueshirt Banter

New York Rangers (60 points, 28-11-4, 1st Metro, 3rd East)
at
Columbus Blue Jackets (37 points, 18-21-1, 5th Metropolitan, 10th East)

The Blue Jackets take on the New York Rangers tonight in the latter half of a back-to-back. Coming off what was quite possibly the worst overall performance I’ve ever witnessed, the Jackets will have an opportunity to regain some of their pride against the division leaders. This game will go a long way in showing what type of players are in the locker room by seeing how they respond to such a pathetic performance. After facing 62 shots last night, look for Joonas Korpisalo to get the start. Either Emil Bemstrom or Liam Foudy should draw in for the injured Alexandre Texier. Maybe both draw in if Brad Larsen decides to send a message and sit a veteran after yesterday’s showing.

Player to Watch
Literally anyone

I don’t care who it is, I just hope someone gives the home crowd something to cheer about. Far too many veteran players on this team have been no shows lately. At least earlier in the season the games were fun to watch. Lately the team has looked lethargic and even lifeless. Maybe a game like last night will finally cause someone on this team to do a bit of soul searching and step up to make something happen. It doesn’t help matters that their best forward as of late, Alexandre Texier, will be out for “some time” after leaving the game last night with what one can only speculate is a broken finger.

The Other Bench

The Rangers come to town on the exact opposite trajectory as the Blue Jackets. They are winners in 5 of their last 6 games, the latter two games in come from behind fashion. The Rangers are a complete team, having bolstered their bottom six this offseason. Gerrard Gallant has his team firing on all cylinders, and it is all the more impressive that they are doing this with their most recent top draft picks, Alexis Lafreniere (1st overall) and Kaapo Kakko (2nd overall) being almost completer non-factors in the team’s success. When you have a top 5 winger (Panarin), the leading goal scorer (Kreider), a Norris winner on defense (Fox) and a Vezina candidate in net (Shesterkin), it allows a lot more time for the development of top prospects. This team is going to be very good for the forseeable future.

If recent history is any indicator, the fans in Nationwide will most likely fuel Artemi Panarin to another 3 point night with their boos, and Chris Kreider will score a few more dirty goals to add to his league leading totals (30g in 43gp) en route to a lopsided victory. I very much hope to be proven wrong.

Season Series

10/29/21 CBJ 0 @ NYR 4
11/13/21 NYR 5 @ CBJ 3
1/27/22 NYR @ CBJ

Stats

New York Columbus
3.00 (16) GPG 3.03 (15)
2.53 (2) GAPG 3.54 (29)
24.6% (10) PP% 15.0% (28)
84.1% (5) PK% 79.7% (18)
43.93% (32) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.91% (21)
44.35% (32) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.98% (24)
8.93% (9) 5v5 Shot % 8.99% (8)
.927 (5) 5v5 Save % .908 (29)
Chris Kreider, 30 G Leader Boone Jenner, 16
Adam Fox, 39 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 26
Adam Fox, 46 P Leader BJORKSTRAND, Jenner, Voracek, 27
Jacob Trouba, 63 PIM Leader Andrew Peeke, 26
13-8-2 Home / Road 11-8-1
4-6-0 Last 10 2-8-0

Projected Lineups

Who knows what the Jackets lines will look like after last night’s performance...

Gus Nyquist Boone Jenner Patrik Laine
Max Domi Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Jakub Voracek Jack Roslovic Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Yegor Chinakhov
Zach Werenski Andrew Peeke
Vladislav Gavrikov Dean Kukan
Jake Bean Adam Boqvist
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider Mika Zibanejad Julien Gauthier
Artemi Panarin Ryan Strome Barclay Goodrow
Alexis Lafreniere Morgan Barron Dryden Hunt
Greg McKegg Kevin Rooney Ryan Reaves
Ryan Lindgren Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller Jacob Trouba
Libor Hajek Braden Schneider
Igor Shesterkin
Alexandar Georgiev