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Game 34 Preview: Roster roulette continues for the Blue Jackets

The Jackets would like to end their six game losing skid on the road against the Islanders.

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders Photo by Dennis DaSilva/NHLI via Getty Images

Thursday, December 29, 2022 - 7:30PM EST
UBS Arena - Elmont, New York
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets (10-21-2, 22 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)


New York Islanders (20-14-2, 42 points, 6th Metro, 8th East)

The Blue Jackets have lost six straight heading into tonight’s game. Mercifully, the NHL pushed back the rematch with the Sabres due to the weather conditions in Buffalo and the Sabres’ inability to travel. Unfortunately for the Jackets, the downward trend continues. Next up is a team the Jackets have been able to play well against so far this season, but continuing that trend looks like a tall task after losing decisively against the worst team in the league.

Player to Watch

Emil Bemstrom

For years the Jackets have seemed to not know how to use Bemstrom. In a somewhat odd move, he was reassigned to Cleveland after a successful stay in Columbus earlier in the season. Since being sent down, he has 7 goals and 10 assists in 11 games. While he hasn’t stood out in Columbus like he has in Cleveland, his four points in seven NHL games this season is respectable and more deserved of ice time than Meyer or Foudy.

Jackets Notes

Laine is ill and will likely miss the game tonight... It appears Kent Johnson has been demoted from the first line for reasons, hopefully he stays at center... Merzlikins is back from being ill, but it is unclear whether or not he is healthy enough to play... Sillinger is back, but practice rushes have him on a line with Foudy and Meyer. If that sticks, lower your expectations for ice time.

The Other Bench

The Islanders currently find themselves in a five team race for the second spot in the Metro. Currently, they sit in sixth place in the division and only four points out of second. Their defense and goaltending are among the best in the league, a sharp contrast against their opponent tonight. If they can manage to find more success on the power play, they will have a chance to win a lot of games in the second half of the season.

Season Series

11/12/22 CBJ 3 @ NYI 4 OT
11/25/22 NYI 3 @ CBJ 2
12/28/22 CBJ @ NYI
3/24/23 NYI @ CBJ


New York Columbus
3.25 (12) GPG 2.70 (27)
2.69 (6) GAPG 4.06 (31)
18.4% (26) PP% 15.6% (30)
81.8% (5) PK% 77.9% (18)
48.9% (22) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.2% (29)
48.5% (23) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.3% (29)
9.4 (4) 5v5 Shooting % 8.3 (18)
.930 (6) 5v5 Save % .897 (31)
Brock Nelson, 15 G Leader Boone Jenner, 11
Mathew Barzal, 28 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 24
Brock Nelson, 36 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 34
Matt Martin, 41 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 43
11-6-0 Home / Road 2-10-1
4-4-2 Last 10 2-8-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Emil Bemstrom Jack Roslovic Johnny Gaudreau
Gus Nyquist Kent Johnson Kirill Marchenko
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Liam Foudy Cole Sillinger Carson Meyer
Vladislav Gavrikov Marcus BJORK
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Adam Boqvist Andrew Peeke
Daniil Tarasov
Elvis Merzlikins
New York Islanders
Josh Bailey Mathew Barzal Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee Brock Nelson Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise Jean-Gabriel Pageau Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin Aatu Raty Hudson Fasching
Scott Mayfield Alexander Romanov
Noah Dobson Sebastian Aho
Ryan Pulock Parker Wotherspoon
Ilya Sorokin
Cory Schneider