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Game 10 Preview/GameThread: Blue Jackets dance with the Devils in matinee before heading to Finland

If there was a Sickos Committee for hockey, they’d watch this.

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New Jersey Devils v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

New Jersey Devils at Columbus Blue Jackets
Sunday, October 30, 2022 - 2:00 PM EDT
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
TV: Bally Sports Ohio - Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponents Blog: All About the Jersey

Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-6-0, 6 points, 8th Metropolitan, 16th East
at
New Jersey Devils, 5-3-0, 10 points, 2nd Metropolitan, 4th East

For the first of three-straight games, at least for those of us staying in the US of A, the Columbus Blue Jackets are playing in a 2:00 matinee game. The Jackets are playing their mirror, the New Jersey Devils, fellow partners in Metro misery. After collecting picks for a couple years, the Devils bottomed out last year, while the Jackets overachieved. While New Jersey seemed to be obvious landing spot for Johnny Gaudreau, Columbus came out of nowhere to land him. The Jackets are 3-5, and the Devils are 5-3. And these two teams feature the second worst and first worst goaltending in the NHL, measured by save percentage.

Player to Watch - Johnny Gaudreau

Speaking of Johnny Hockey, the South Jersey native will play against his home-state team for the first time as a division rival. This is why he signed here, to visit this area often, and now he is. Small sample size aside, the success of the Jackets has been tied to Johnny Hockey, going 2-0 when Gaudreau posts a multi-point effort, and batting .500 when he scores a goal. He’s scored 6 goals and 22 points in 13 career games against the Devils, so the former is far from out of the question, and we got a 50/50 shot on the latter.

Jackets Notes

We’re changing this section up a bit today. The last two games, the Blue Jackets have been booed off their own ice by their own fans. Sure. I wouldn’t boo my team, even if they’re losing like 7-1, but I can see why people do so.

This, however, is inexcusable. This is unimaginable. I get the boos, that’s part of the crazy para-social contracts professional athletes sign when they go out to play. However, this is beyond crazy. Athletes are human, they mess up as much as the rest of us. Would you want people to send death threats and say you’re autistic whenever you lock your keys in your car? Sounds insane, right? There should be no place for any of this in sports, society, anywhere.

Also, I imagine most of the mental health comments are referencing the death of Matiss Kivlenieks. For those of you unaware, grief is not a mental illness. It’s a natural part of life’s processes, effects everyone differently, and does not follow a straight line. Please consider making the world a better place and go eat an ice cream cone to make yourself feel better instead of threatening someone’s child over it. I find ice cream very helpful. If you’re lactose-intolerant, consider some Oreos or chicken nuggets.

And if you were one of those fans to harass the Merzlikinses, or any other athlete or person, and/or would like to argue against these points, please feel free to do so down below so we know to ban you.

The Other Bench

Jesper Bratt has been off to a hot start, third in the League in points (13) and second in assists (10). ... Vitek Vanacek recorded a 24-save shutout against Colorado on Friday. ... For those looking for the Jackets’ first power play goal of the season, it likely won’t come today. New Jersey has the fourth best PK in the league, at 92.6%

Season Series

10/30/2022 - Columbus at New Jersey
2/14/2023 - New Jersey at Columbus
4/6/2023 - Columbus at New Jersey

Stats

New Jersey Columbus
3.00 (25) GPG 2.78 (26)
2.75 (7) GAPG 4.11 (29)
17.4% (22) PP% 0.0%% (32)
92.6% (4) PK% 82.8% (12)
63.2% (2) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.7% (25)
64.7% (1) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 46.5% (24)
7.1% (27) 5v5 Shot % 9.6% (7)
.866 (32) 5v5 Save % .877 (31)
N. Hischier, J. Hughes, J. Brett, D. Mercer, O. Palat; 3 G Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 5
Jesper Bratt, 10 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 5
Jesper Bratt, 13 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 8
Brenden Smith, 15 PIM Leader Andrew Peeke, 10
3-2-0 Home / Road 1-2-0
4-1-0 Last 5/strong> 2-3-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau Jack Roslovic Patrik Laine
Gus Nyquist Captain Boone Jenner Kent Johnson
Yegor Chinakhov Cole Sillinger Jakub Voracek
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Liam Foudy
Zach Werenski Andrew Peeke
Vladislav Gavrikov David Jiricek
Gavin Bayreuther Erik Gudbranson
Elvis Merzlikins
Daniil Tarasov

New Jersey Devils

Erik Haula Jack Hughes Jesper Bratt
Tomas Tatar Nico Hischier Fabian Zetterlund
Yegor Sharangovich Dawson Mercer Jesper Boqvist
Miles Wood Michael McLeod Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves John Marino
Brendan Smith Damon Severson
MacKenzie Blackwood
Vitek Vanacek