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Game #44 Preview: Blue Jackets are a sad country music song

The Blue Jackets are in Nashville to play the game that was originally scheduled for November 26th.

NHL: NOV 30 Blue Jackets at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 8:00PM ET
Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tennessee
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 105.7 FM
Opponent’s Blog: On the Forecheck

Columbus Blue Jackets (13-28-2, 28 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)


Nashville Predators (20-17-6, 46 points, 6th Central, 11th West)

Being a Blue Jackets fan this season feels like living a real country music song. Our truck broke down, our dog ran away, the love of our life ran away with someone else. As the Jackets roll into Nashville tonight, pour yourself a strong drink and play a few sad songs that remind you of the team you love.

He said I’ll love you till I die... a lovesick fanbase has a heart for only one team, but that team doesn’t seem to love them back.

Looking back, on the memory of, the dance we shared... that one time we made it to the second round of the playoffs.

If I should stay, well I would only be in your way... of playing a losing style of hockey and turning skilled players into fourth line grinders.

Player to Watch

Johnny Gaudreau

I contemplated either putting a Predator here or leaving this section out. This team stinks and no one has been playing particularly well recently. In addition, no one really stands out statistically against Nashville, except for one player...

Johnny Gaudreau has a career 5 goals and 23 assists in 22 games against the Predators. The Jackets won the last meeting between these two teams, a contest that Gaudreau had two goals in. Johnny Hockey will need another grand performance tonight if the Jackets want to add to their win column.

Jackets Notes

Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the lineup tonight. Korpisalo was out for personal reasons last night so it was Tarasov that backed up Merzlikins. Could Tarasov make a return to the starter’s net tonight in Nashville? Could Sillinger also return after a two game trip to the press box? I certainly hope Jarmo would send him to Cleveland if Larsen intends to keep him out any longer.

The Other Bench

The Predators have had quite an up and down season. They started off strong, taking both games against the Sharks in Prague, then promptly lost seven of their next eight. They have mostly won and lost in bunches this season, most recently winning four in a row and then losing three in a row before beating the Flames last night. They sit five points out of a wild card spot with two games in hand, but are competing against the likes of Edmonton, Calgary, Colorado, and St. Louis for that spot.

Season Series

10/20/22 NSH 3 @ CBJ 5
1/17/23 CBJ @ NSH


Nashville Columbus
2.74 (27) GPG 2.54 (30)
2.93 (14) GAPG 3.93 (31)
16.7% (28) PP% 14.8% (32)
79.6% (14) PK% 76.2% (18)
48.9% (23) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.2% (29)
48.5% (23) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.0% (29)
7.8% (26) 5v5 Shooting % 7.8% (25)
.933 (2) 5v5 Save % .904 (30)
Filip Forsberg, 18 G Leader Laine, Gaudreau, 12
Roman Josi, 23 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 29
Filip Forsberg, 38 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 41
Tanner Jeannot, 57 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 51
10-7-3 Home / Road 3-14-1
6-3-1 Last 10 3-7-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Johnny Gaudreau Jack Roslovic Patrik Laine
Eric Robinson Boone Jenner Gus Nyquist
Liam Foudy Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Kirill Marchenko Kent Johnson Emil Bemstrom
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Nick Blankenburg Adam Boqvist
Daniil Tarasov
Elvis Merzlikins
Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg Cody Glass Matt Duchene
Mikael Granlund Ryan Johansen Nino Niederreiter
Cole Smith Colton Sissons Juuso Parssinen
Tanner Jeannot Tommy Novak Yakov Trenin
Ryan McDonagh Roman Josi
Alexandre Carrier Mattias Ekholm
Dante Fabbro Jeremy Lauzon
Kevin Lankinen
Juuse Saros