Game 28 Preview: The Rarely-Seen Buds Make the Trek to Ohio

They're getting better! The most recent game against the Blackhawks looked more like Jackets hockey than any other game this season, had they played the way they did during the losing streak, the score would have been ugly-very ugly in favor of the 'Hawks.

For the first time in a few years Toronto comes to town. The Leafs are still in the midst of a "re-tooling" (because if I would have said "rebullding" Ole Ironsides Burke would find a way to get me booted off of the internet) and are without either of their top goaltenders. Vesa Toskala is out with an injury, and Gustavsson will be going under the knife for another heart operation. Speaking of Gustavsson, when will the meda give him a new nickname? The Monster? Come on. Worst nickname for a player in all of sport, especially for a rookie. Joey MacDonald, a fellow Bluenoser, will get the start tonight. Mase is in for the Jackets.

The CBJ will be icing the same lineup as the past few games, although Raffi may miss it because his wife is in the hospital prepping for the delivery of the couple's first child. The Leafs have a tough defensive unit, so it will be interesting how the Jackets forwards can cope with that. I also wonder if Kris Russell can continue his red-hot stretch of play tonight. Here's hoping. Look for a good physical battle tonight folks.

Fearless Prediction: CBJ score at least four goals.

Game Time: 7:00pm ET

Opponent's Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Game Page: Maple Leafs vs Blue Jackets Coverage

TSN Preview: Maple Leafs vs Blue Jackets Preview

TV: FSN Ohio

Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)

More after the jump...

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Toronto has played in Columbus only three times, most recently Nov. 20, 2006, a 4-2 Leafs win. The Blue Jackets would be wise to ignore the standings. After a horrible start, the Maple Leafs are 4-1-2 in their past seven games, including a 3-0 rout of Montreal on Tuesday. It could be a big special- teams game. Although the Blue Jackets excel on the power play, both teams struggle in killing penalties.

Jackets Links:

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
Mike Commodore
Jan Hejda
Kris Russell
Mathieu Roy
Steve Mason
Mathieu Garon

EXTRA: Alexandre Picard

INJURED: Fredrik Modin, Andrew Murray, Derek Dorsett, Rostislav Klesla, Marc Methot

Toronto Maple Leafs

Alexei Ponikarovsky
Matt Stajan
Phil Kessel
Niklas Hagman
Mikhail Grabovski
Christian Hanson
Wayne Primeau
Nikolai Kulemin
Lee Stempniak
Jason Blake
Jamal Mayers
Colton Orr
Mike Komisarek
Tomas Kaberle
Luke Schenn
Ian White
Francois Beauchemin
Jeff Finger
Joey MacDonald
Jonas Gustavsson

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