Games 1 & 2 (X) Previews: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
The wait is over... sorta. Just three days into camp, the boys take the ice for the first time against competition as the Jackets kick off some split-squad action against Carolina and St. Louis.
To a man on Thursday, the Blue Jackets were ready to get on the ice, get going, and start working. They get their wish; just three days later, two games (split squad) kick off the exhibition schedule today:
Blue Jackets at Hurricanes
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
Blues at Blue Jackets
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
Roster in Carolina
Frederic St. Denis
Roster vs. St. Louis
Obviously, the Jackets look to be stronger at home in this setup. Two notable absences, of course, would be Ryan Johansen and Sergei Bobrovsky. We can at least expect to see the latter in an exhibition game sometime soon.
Per The Dispatch, Anton Forsberg will play the entire game in Raleigh, and Curtis McElhinney and Oscar Dansk will split time in the game in Columbus.
Having had just two practices, combined with some unfamiliarity as young guys and camp invites work their way in with veterans, one can expect some degree of sloppiness along the way. In addition, some tweaks to the Jackets' system--including asking the forwards to come back and play a little deeper in the defensive zone--will no doubt cause some issues during these games.
Even still, it's just nice to have hockey back.