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Game #30 Preview/Gamethread: Can the Blue Jackets avoid a Boston beatdown from the Bruins?

Jackets head to the TD Garden for some afternoon hockey

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NHL: Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, December 17, 2022 - 1:00 P.M. EST
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
TV: NHL Network, Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Columbus Blue Jackets (10-17-2, 22 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)
Boston Bruins (23-4-2, 37 points, 1st Atlantic, 1st East)

The Columbus Blue Jackets wrap up their road trip with their toughest challenge yet when they take on the Boston Bruins in Beantown. The Bruins are an absolute WAGON this year, boasting a top-2 offense and the top defense in the league. This is a team built to go deep into the playoffs and have been firing on all cylinders from the start of the year. They have yet to lose at home in regulation this season.

Since they have pretty much no chance on paper according to the season stats, it only makes sense the Jackets will march into TD Garden and be the first to defeat the Bruins at the end of 60 minutes, right?

Player(s) to Watch

The Kid Line (Marchenko/Sillinger/Johnson)

It only took 30 games, but head coach Brad Larsen finally let the kids loose! For maybe the first time this season, Larsen didn’t staple his young players to the bench in the third period while attempting to score a late goal to tie a game. He was very pleased with the performance of that line, and they generated the only goal of the game. Cole Sillinger was very noticeable all night, really driving the line. I agree with Lars when he said it was probably Sillinger’s best game of the year. Kent Johnson did Kent Johnson things, flashing his skill with the puck.

Whether or not they get the same ice time today remains to be seen, but its a promising sign that the young guys are finally getting rewarded for their strong play. There is nothing else to play for aside from the development of these players.

Jackets Notes

While Brad Larsen “rewarded” the kid line with increase ice time, it came at the expense of the Jackets top six. He opted to send the Jackets third and fourth lines out on the ice much more frequently in the dying minutes of the third while trying to catch the lightning. Yeah, they weren’t great, but this almost feels like a petty benching that could have the opposite effect than what Larsen was going for. Could that be the type of move that causes players to (further) tune out a coach that they don’t believe puts them in the best position to win?

The other Bench

Boston did something on Thursday they’re not used to doing this year. They lost at home. The Bruins blew a two goal lead in the third period, eventually losing in a shootout to the Los Angeles Kings. Not that there is a shred of panic in that locker room, but head coach Jim Montgomery said the team was frustrated with their performance the other night. I’d expect them to come out annoyed with their game and really look to make a statement and get back on track. The Jackets will need to weather the early storm tomorrow afternoon if they want any shot of stealing this game from a salty bruins team.

Season Series

10/28/22 BOS 4 @ 1 CBJ
12/17/22 CBJ @ BOS
3/30/23 CBJ @ BOS


Boston Columbus
3.79 (2) GPG 2.79 (27)
2.14 (1) GAPG 4.07 (31)
27.9% (3) PP% 13.9% (32)
85.7% (1) PK% 79.0% (17)
52.9% (5) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.5% (29)
53.6% (5) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.3% (29)
8.7 (13) 5v5 Shooting % 8.8 (12)
.938 (2) 5v5 Save % .891 (32)
David Pastrnak, 19 G Leader Boone Jenner and Johnny Gaudreau, 10
David Pastrnak, 21 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 21
Pasta...duh, 40 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 31
A.J. Greer, 35 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 41
15-0-2 Home / Road 2-7-1
6-2-2 Last 10 3-6-1

Projected Lines

Columbus Blue Jackets

Gus Nyquist Boone Jenner Johnny Gaudreau
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Yegor Chinakhkov
Kent Johnson Cole Sillinger Kirill Marchenko
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Vladislav Gavrikov Marcus BJORK
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Jake Christiansen Andrew Peeke
Elvis Merzlikins
Daniil Tarasov

Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha David Krejci David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall Charlie Coyle Trent Frederic
Nick Foligno Tomas Nosek A.J. Greer
Derek Forbort Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm Connor Clifton
Mark Grzelcyk Brandon Carlo
Linus Ullmark
Jeremy Swayman