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Game #48 Preview: Can the Blue Jackets keep up with Connor McDavid?

Here’s what you need to know

Columbus Blue Jackets v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 9:30 P.M. EST
Rogers Place - Edmonton, Alberta
TV: TNT; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Copper and Blue

Columbus Blue Jackets (14-30-3, 31 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)

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Edmonton Oilers (27-18-3, 57 points, 4th Metro, 6th West)

The Blue Jackets continue to be a baffling team. In their last three games they have had periods where they were absolutely dominated, but also periods where they scored in bunches. The latest example was a nationally televised game on Monday night where they erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 before losing to Calgary in overtime. As they play another game in front of the hockey world, can they put together a consistently competitive 60 minutes?

Player to Watch

Connor McDavid

Confession: Last season, I bought into the idea that Auston Matthews had surpassed Connor McDavid as the best hockey player in the world. Given his Hart Trophy victory, I wasn’t the only one. Now, I don’t regret this; Matthews did score 60 scores. McDavid had “only” 44 but led the league with 123 points, for his fourth Art Ross Trophy in seven seasons.

The first sign that McDavid had another level was in the postseason, as he led the Oilers to the Western Conference Finals behind a 10/23/33 effort in 16 games. This year he has 40/48/88 in 48 games, or a 150 point pace. That’s insane!

Let’s just resign ourselves to the fact that McDavid will collect a couple of points tonight. Can the Jackets keep pace?

Jackets Notes

In the third period vs. Calgary, Brad Larsen used just nine forwards. Jack Roslovic, Emil Bemstrom, and Mathieu Olivier did not play ... Patrik Laine has six points in his last three games, including a goal and two assists on Monday ... Joonas Korpisalo has started two straight games and faced 49 shots in his last appearance, so look for Elvis Merzlikins to get the start tonight.

The Other Bench

Our old friend Ryan Murray was placed on LTIR last week due to a back injury that has kept him out of the lineup since late November ... Evander Kane is scoreless in his three games since returning to the lineup from a wrist laceration that kept him out for two months.

Season Series

01/25/2023 CBJ @ EDM
02/25/2023 EDM @ CBJ

Stats

Edmonton Columbus
3.71 (3) GPG 2.57 (28)
3.23 (19) GAPG 3.89 (30)
31.0% (1) PP% 16.0% (31)
74.9% (23) PK% 77.6% (18)
50.7% (16) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.3% (29)
50.0% (20) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.1% (29)
8.6 (14) 5v5 Shooting % 7.8 (25)
.917 (15) 5v5 Save % .902 (30)
Connor McDavid, 40 G Leader Patrik Laine, 14
Connor McDavid, 48 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 33
Connor McDavid, 88 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 46
Klim Kostin and Darnell Nurse, 43 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 66
12-11-2 Home / Road 3-15-2
7-2-1 Last 10 3-6-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Johnny Gaudreau Jack Roslovic Patrik Laine
Kent Johnson Boone Jenner Gus Nyquist
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Kirill Marchenko Cole Sillinger Emil Bemstrom
Vladislav Gavrikov Adam Boqvist
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Nick Blankenburg Andrew Peeke
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Edmonton Oilers
Evander Kane Connor McDavid Leon Draisaitl
Klim Kostin Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Zach Hyman
Dylan Holloway Derek Ryan Ryan McLeod
Jesse Puljujarvi Warren Foegele Vincent Desharnais
Darnell Nurse Cody Ceci
Brett Kulak Tyson Barrie
Philip Broberg Evan Bouchard
Staurt Skinner
Jack Campbell