Game 25 Preview: Jackets Return Home to Take on the Flames
Finally, back home. The Jackets return to Nationwide Arena to face the Flames tonight, after concluding a disastrous five-game road trip. The Jackets won the first game, but then promptly lost four in a row. The team played horrible defensively, and the goaltenders were anything but sharp. Mason however did look good in the last game against Ottawa, making big saves when needed, however he lost focus on the game winning goal for Ottawa, a wraparound by Nick Foligno late in the third. Mase was again haunted by a play that developed from behind the net.
The Flames are a fairly high scoring team, and they play physical. They play a lot like Columbus does when the Jackets are "on", so this on paper is a pretty fair matchup. What remains to be seen is whether or not the Jackets can get their act together in the defensive zone. Something is broken, the effort level isn't there and the goalies haven't been good. These factors need to be remedied immediatly, as the Jackets are losing ground fast. The Preds and Blackhawks are the hottest team in the NHL right now, and the Jackets need to keep pace.
There have been some shakeups to the forward lines. Raffi Torres should be lining up with Vermette and Nash on the first line, and Umby is moving to the second line right-wing position with Jake moving to the third line. Look for recently called-up Alex Picard to see some action on the fourth line. I love his game- tons of jam and he still actually has offensive talent, although he has yet to show it at the NHL level. I fully expect him to take advantage of this chance and have a strong game.
Fearless Prediction: Picard scores his first NHL goal!
Game Time: 7:00pm ET
Opponent's Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline
Game Page: Flames vs Blue Jackets Coverage
TSN Preview: Flames vs Blue Jackets Preview
TV: FSN Ohio
Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)
More after the jump...
From the Columbus Dispatch:
The Blue Jackets aim to snap a season-high, four-game losing streak. Since Oct. 7, 2005, the Blue Jackets are 7-1-0 against the Flames in Nationwide Arena, including a 2-1 win Oct. 13.
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
|Raffi Torres || Antoine Vermette ||Rick Nash|
| Kristian Huselius || Derick Brassard ||R.J. Umberger|
|Jason Chimera||Samuel Pahlsson ||Jakub Voracek|
|Alexandre Picard || Derek MacKenzie || Jared Boll |
|Fedor Tyutin||Anton Stralman|
|Rostislav Klesla ||Jan Hejda |
|Marc Methot ||Mike Commodore|
|EXTRA: Kris Russell, Michael Blunden|
|INJURED: Fredrik Modin, Andrew Murray, Derek Dorsett|
|Jamie Lundmark || Olli Jokinen ||Jarome Iginla |
|Nigel Dawes || Daymond Langkow || David Moss |
|Curtis Glencross || Craig Conroy ||Dustin Boyd |
|Fredrik Sjostrom ||Eric Nystrom || Brandon Prust |
| Jay Bouwmeester || Mark Giordano |
|Dion Phaneuf || Robyn Regehr |
| Adam Pardy ||Aaron Johnson |
| Curtis McElhinney|
| Miikka Kiprusoff|