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Game #38 Preview/Gamethread: Blue Jackets look for signs of life against Hurricanes

The first of back-to-back matinee games this weekend.

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Chicago Blackhawks v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Justin Berl/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday, January 7, 2023 - 4:00PM ET
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Canes Country

Columbus Blue Jackets (11-24-2, 22 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)


Carolina Hurricanes (25-8-6, 56 points, 1st Metro, 2nd East)

It’s hard to believe, but the Blue Jackets come into today’s game having only won 4 games in regulation since November 19th, a stretch of 21 games. They sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and ahead of only Chicago in the entire league. Today’s opponent is the Metro leading Hurricanes. They have been on fire as of late with only 2 regulation losses in their last 18 games.

What should be the goal today for the Blue Jackets? Probably to show up, compete for 60 minutes, and not completely fall apart for long stretches. That will be a difficult task against one of the best teams in the league, a team that hogs possession and plays suffocating defense.

Player to Watch

Martin Necas

At 23 years old, Necas is having a breakout year for the Hurricanes. We haven’t yet reached the halfway point of the season and the 2017 12th overall pick is only three points away from matching his career high in points. His 38 points leads the team. He would lead the Blue Jackets in goals and be tied for first in points with Gaudreau.

Jackets Notes

Aaron Portzline published an article in The Athletic on Friday that included an indictment of the current state of the locker room. In the article, he noted that several veterans have been “frustrated by light practices and what they feel has been insufficient accountability for some players in the face of consistent losing.”

The piling on continues for an organization that has been embarrassed multiple times on national television this season and is potentially staring at its worst points percentage season ever. I must say, I’m a little shocked at how apathetic the front office has appeared while this season continues to tumble completely out of control. It’s one thing to be disappointingly bad, but another to sit back and watch accountability and a hard working culture get washed down the drain.

The Other Bench

The Hurricanes lost 5-3 to the Predators the other night in one of the strangest games in recent memory. They absolutely dominated the game across the board. At 5v5, they accounted for 74% of unblocked shot attempts, 67% of scoring chances (40-20), and boasted 4.6 expected goals. The difference in the game was Juuse Saros. The Nashville goaltender saved 64 of 67 shots, saving a whopping 3.45 goals above expected in all situations.

Season Series

10/12/22 CBJ 1 @ CAR 4
1/6/23 CAR @ CBJ
1/12/23 CBJ @ CAR


Carolina Columbus
3.10 (20) GPG 2.60 (29)
2.67 (4) GAPG 3.97 (31)
19.1% (25) PP% 15.2% (31)
80.2% (13) PK% 76.7% (18)
60.11% (1) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.47% (29)
59.61% (1) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.35% (29)
7.52% (28) 5v5 Shooting % 7.74% (25)
.922 (9) 5v5 Save % .900 (31)
Andrei Svechnikov, 19 G Leader Gaudreau, Jenner, 11
Brent Burns, 23 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 27
Martin Necas, 38 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 38
Brent Burns, 32 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 47
13-4-5 Home / Road 9-12-1
8-2-0 Last 10 1-9-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau Kent Johnson Emil Bemstrom
Gustav Nyquist Jack Roslovic Patrik Laine
Liam Foudy Cole Sillinger Kirill Marchenko
Carson Meyer Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Adam Boqvist Gavin Bayreuther
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins

Carolina Hurricanes

Martin Necas Paul Stastny Andrei Svechnikov
Teuvo Teravainen Sebastian Aho Seth Jarvis
Jordan Martinook Jordan Staal Jesper Fast
Max Pacioretty Derek Stepan Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Brent Burns Jaccob Slavin
Brett Pesce Brady Skjei
Jalen Chatfield Calvin de Haan
Pyotr Kochetkov
Antti Raanta