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Game #22 Preview: Blue Jackets take off for Winnipeg

Plus the return of Laine and Merzlikins

Columbus Blue Jackets v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Friday, December 2, 2022 - 8:00 P.M. EST
Canada Life Centre - Winnipeg, Manitoba
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Arctic Ice Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets (7-12-2, 16 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)

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Winnipeg Jets (14-6-1, 29 points, 2nd Central, 4th West)

The last time I wrote a preview was back on the 12th, which (thanks to an unscheduled water main leak in Nashville), was the last time the Jackets played a road game. After seven straight at home, they hit the road and cross the border to face the revitalized Winnipeg Jets

Player to Watch

Pierre-Luc Dubois

He’s not the best Jet this season, but he’ll always be the most interesting one for Jackets fans. Or, at least for as long as he is a Jet. He is having another productive season, with 10 goals and 10 assists in 21 games. PLD is playing on a one year, $6 million contract and will be a restricted free agent again in the summer, this time with arbitration rights. He’s made it known he wants to test the free agent market in summer 2024. Do the Jets trade him before then, or keep him around for the short term, while the team is doing well?

Jackets Notes

Big changes to the lineup as Patrik Laine and Elvis Merzlikins were both activated off of the IR yesterday. Daniil Tarasov was returned to Cleveland in a corresponding move ... Several players missed practice this week, including Johnny Gaudreau, Yegor Chinakhov, and Mathieu Olivier. Gaudreau and Chinakhov returned to practice yesterday but Olivier did not ... Also yesterday, prospects Luca Del Bel Belluz and James Malatesta signed their entry level contracts.

The Other Bench

The Jets have gotten off to a great start under new coach Rick Bowness, including a 5-0 win over Colorado on Tuesday ... Connor Hellebuyck is back to his old ways, with a .931 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average.

Season Series

12/02/2022 CBJ @ WPG
02/16/2023 WPG @ CBJ

Stats

Winnipeg Columbus
3.24 (15) GPG 2.86 (24)
2.52 (4) GAPG 4.10 (31)
20.9% (18) PP% 15.4% (30)
82.1% (7) PK% 79.0% (17)
48.9% (22) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 44.7% (26)
48.4% (23) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.0% (29)
8.3 (17) 5v5 Shooting % 8.5 (14)
.945 (3) 5v5 Save % .893 (32)
Mark Scheifele, 12 G Leader Boone Jenner, 9
Josh Morrisey, 20 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 14
Josh Morrisey, 25 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 22
Brenden Dillon, 40 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 37
8-2-0 Home / Road 1-4-1
7-3-0 Last 10 4-4-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Johnny Gaudreau
Gus Nyquist Jack Roslovic Kent Johnson
Yegor Chinakhkov Cole Sillinger Carson Meyer
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Liam Foudy
Vladislav Gavrikov Marcus BJORK
Jake Christiansen Erik Gudbranson
Gavin Bayreuther Andrew Peeke
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Winnipeg Jets
Cole Perfetti Mark Scheifele Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor Pierre-Luc Dubois Morgan Barron
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Adam Lowry Saku Maenalanen
Jansen Harkins David Gustafsson Michael Eyssimont
Josh Morissey Dylan Demelo
Brenden Dillon Neal Pionk
Dylan Samberg Nate Schmidt
Connor Hellebuyck
David Rittich