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Game #27 Preview: Blue Jackets head north of the border to face rebounding Canucks

Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
TV: Bally Sports Ohio – Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Nucks Misconduct

Columbus Blue Jackets, 14-11-1, 29 points, 5th Metro, 9th East
Vancouver Canucks, 9-15-3, 26 points, 7th Pacific, 13th West

The Columbus Blue Jackets have ventured north of the border into British Columbia, beginning their first Western Canada road trip since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Blue Jackets are coming off their overtime win against the Seattle Kraken, a game that saw them blow a 4-1 lead but manage to pull out a victory in overtime.

The Vancouver Canucks, meanwhile, are a team in transition. After a dreadful start to the season, the team pulled the trigger and fired head coach Travis Green and General Manager Jim Benning, bringing in Bruce Boudreau and the new head coach and Jim Rutherford (formerly of the Pittsburgh Penguins) as President of Hockey Operations and the interim general manager. Vancouver has won four straight games to dig out of the Pacific Division basement, including a Sunday night win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Player to Watch

Justin Danforth

The offensive dynamo and celebrated rookie / former first round draft pick One of the older rookies in the NHL this season, Danforth continues to draw into the lineup ahead of players like Yegor Chinakhov and Emil Bemstrom. Danforth has played 10 games thus far for the club since his call up, notching one goal and two assists while playing 10:59 a night. He’s been serviceable, if nothing spectacular, with a 54.6% CF% to go along with a favorable deployment (55.4% offensive zone starts). He’s been on the ice for four goals for and three against since his call up. Danforth is getting his first NHL experience this year, though at the expense of some younger prospects, and it is not immediately clear why that is, especially in a season quickly falling off the rails where development should be prioritized.

Jackets Notes

Patrik Laine has returned to the team after going to Finland to celebrate his late father’s life … Laine skated with Chinakhov and Bemstrom yesterday, but none are expected to play tonight

Joonas Korpisalo, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, was informed by the Finnish military that he is expected to complete his mandatory military service …. Korpisalo is in the last year in which he could potentially complete the service, which the Finnish government has requested he begin on April 11, 2022 … Korpisalo’s passport expires next season, and Finland could potentially withhold it until completion of his compulsory service … Patrik Laine, another Finn, has not completed his service either, but his deadline is not for several years

The Other Bench

Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored the goals for the Canucks in their 2-1 win over the Hurricanes, rewarding the faith of offensively-minded head coach Bruce Boudreau … Both Pettersson and Boeser spoke about how they are gaining confidence under the new staff, something was was sorely lacking for both players previously … Boudreau is the first head coach in Canucks history to win his first four games in charge

Season Series

11/26/2021 VAN 2 @ CBJ 4
12/14/2021 CBJ @ VAN


Vancouver   Columbus
2.38 (28) GPG 3.23 (8)
2.90 (18) GAPG 3.27 (24)
18.6% (18) PP% 19.7% (13)
66.3% (32) PK% 80.9% (17)
50.72% (12) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 48.39% (21)
50.29% (16) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.62% (23)
6.05% (31) 5v5 Shooting % 8.79% (7)
.943 (1) 5v5 Save % .910 (27)
JT Miller and Conor Garland, 9 G Leader Boone Jenner, 11
Quinn Hughes, 20 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 21
JT Miller, 28 P Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand, 23
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, 28 PIM Leader Cole Sillinger, 19
7-7-1 Home / Road 5-8-0
6-4-0 Last 10 4-5-1

Projected Lineups

Max Domi Boone Jenner Jakub Voracek
Gus Nyquist Jack Roslovic Oliver Bjorkstrand
Yegor Chinakhov Cole Sillinger Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Alexandre Texier
Zach Werenski Jake Bean
Vladislav Gavrikov Andrew Peeke
Gabriel Carlsson Gavin Bayreuther
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Jason Dickinson Bo Horvat Nils Hoglander
Tanner Pearson JT Miller Brock Boeser
Vasily Podkolzin Elias Pettersson Conor Garland
Tyler Motte Juhu Lammikko Alex Chiasson
Quinn Hughes Luke Schenn
Tucker Poolman Tyler Myers
Brad Hunt Kyle Burroughs
Thatcher Demko
Jaroslav Halak