Game 23 Preview: Jackets limp into Montreal to face the Habs
Boy do the Jackets need to bounce back. After getting thoroughly trounced in New York last night, they hopped on a plane for Montreal, where they will take on the Canadiens tonight. The Rangers were a team that struggled to score, and the Jackets managed to change that. The Habs are another team that struggles to score-lightning can't strike twice can it? I sure hope not. The Jackets absolutely need to win this one, if nothing more than to keep pace in the tough Central Division.
Mathieu Garon will get the start, returning to Montreal to face the team that drafted him. Expect Kris Russell to get the start tonight. Props to fellow twitterer (?) @seventyeight for this tweet she posted last night:
OKAY. When Russell plays: 10-4-2, 3.125 goals/game /// When he does not: 2-3-1, 5.8 goals/game. Quit making him your scapegoat.
The numbers don't lie- the team has played better with Russ in the lineup. I'd like to see him more often-his skills with the puck, while they haven't exactly led to him putting up major points, are a major boost. I don't want to see Commie out on the powerplay again tonight. I'm thinking Russ goes in for Methot, who looked just awful last night. To be fair though, the whole team looked like crap outside of Boller.
The Habs still possess the talent to break out of their funk at any time, so I am not going to use the low-scoring excuse here. The Jackets need to use their size and physicality advantage to dominate the boards and the down-low play. With Georges Laraque out of the lineup, this should be easy to do.
Fearless Prediction- I'm never going to predict a shutout again-that's a promise. I will however predict that Garon will have a strong game in his return to his home province.
Game Time: 7:00pm ET
Opponent's Blog: Habs Eyes On The Prize
Game Page: Blue Jackets vs Canadiens Coverage
TSN Preview: Blue Jackets vs Canadiens Preview
TV: FSN Ohio
Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)
More after the jump...
From the Columbus Dispatch:
The Blue Jackets were to arrive in Montreal early this morning after playing last night in New York. They are expected to start Mathieu Garon in goal and perhaps insert defenseman Kris Russell. The injury-riddled Canadiens are struggling to score. They entered yesterday's action ranked 27th in goals, averaging 2.30.
Columbus Blue Jackets / Columbus Blue Jackets Schedule
Columbus Blue Jackets Roster / Columbus Blue Jackets Stats
Here are the lineups for tonight's tilt:
Columbus Blue Jackets
|Kristian Huselius || Antoine Vermette ||Rick Nash|
| R.J. Umberger || Derick Brassard ||Jakub Voracek|
|Jason Chimera||Samuel Pahlsson ||Michael Blunden|
|Raffi Torres || Derek MacKenzie || Jared Boll |
|Fedor Tyutin||Anton Stralman|
|Rostislav Klesla ||Jan Hejda |
|Kris Russell ||Mike Commodore|
|EXTRA: Marc Methot, Tom Sestito|
|INJURED: Fredrik Modin, Andrew Murray, Derek Dorsett|
|Michael Cammalleri || Scott Gomez ||Glen Metropolit |
|Andrei Kostitsyn || Tomas Plekanec || Max Pacioretty |
|Travis Moen ||Maxim Lapierre ||Benoit Pouliot |
|Kyle Chipchura ||Tom Pyatt || Ryan White |
| Jaroslav Spacek || Roman Hamrlik |
| Josh Gorges || Paul Mara |
| Marc-Andre Bergeron ||Jay Leach |
| Carey Price|
| Jaroslav Halak|