Game #62 Preview: Blue Jackets welcome Oliver Bjorkstrand and the Kraken hours after the NHL Trade Deadline

Here’s what you need to know.

Seattle Kraken at Columbus Blue Jackets
Friday, March 3, 2023 - 7:00 PM ET
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Bally’s Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s blog: Davy Jones’ Locker Room

Seattle Kraken, 33-21-6, 72 points, 4th Pacific, 7th East
Columbus Blue Jackets, 20-35-6, 46 points, 8th Metro, 16th East

The Columbus Blue Jackets, hours after the NHL Trade Deadline, will welcome the Seattle Kraken and former Blue Jacket Oliver Bjorkstrand to town. For trade deadline purposes, please use this preview as your open thread as well.

To catch up on the Blue Jackets’ moves:

Gus Nyquist dealt to Minnesota

Gavrikov, Korpisalo traded to Kings

Jonathan Quick traded to Vegas

We will all miss the CBJ legend

Jake Voracek traded to Arizona in cap dump

As far as on the ice play goes the Jackets have earned 5 of their last 6 possible points including beating both the streaking Buffalo Sabres and the Edmonton Oilers. Tonight, the surprisingly playoff bound Seattle Kraken come to town.  The Kraken, who were not expected to be playoff contenders in the preseason, are riding a hot start to the season to a current wild card spot in the standings. The team’s offense, surprising early, has cooled off as of late. The Jackets will have to keep the Kraken off the scoreboard with consistency to have a chance in this one.

Player to Watch

Elvis Merzlikins

With Joonas Korpisalo now in Los Angeles and Daniil Tarasov in Cleveland, the keys to the crease now belong to Merzlikins. Merzlikins has struggled this season, going 7-15-2 with a 4.10 GAA and an .879 SV%, will have 21 games left this year to play his way back into form and build a strong foundation for next season. Elvis is in the first year of a five year, $27 million contract and it is imperative that he finds the form that earned him the extension in the first place.

Jackets Notes

Michael Hutchinson, expected to back up Merzlikins the rest of the way, is 33 years old ... Hutchinson has a career 55-55-15 record with a 2.79 GAA and a .905 career save percentage ... Hutchinson was a third round pick in 2008 (77th overall) ... Jon Gillies, another goaltender acquired as part of the Voracek trade, was sent to Cleveland ... Gillies, Jet Greaves, and Daniil Tarasov are expected to form the Monsters’ battery the rest of the year ... Gillies is 7-15-3 in 32 NHL games, with a 3.31 GAA and an .893 SV% ... Voracek leaves with 46-156-202 om 331 games as a Blue Jacket

The Other Bench

Heading into last night’s game against the Red Wings, the Kraken penalty kill had been on a streak of 15 straight kills ... The Kraken announced they will be started a AAA program next season, the highest level of youth hockey in the United States ... Morgan Geekie notched his first multi-goal game in the NHL in a win over the Blues earlier this week ... the Kraken have 24 games this year where four or more different skaters have scored a goal

Season Series

01/28/2023 CBJ 1 @ SEA 3
03/03/2023 SEA @ CBJ


Seattle   Columbus
3.47 (6) GPG 2.59 (30)
3.15 (17) GAPG 3.67 (30)
19.8% (22) PP% 16.8% (29)
73.4% (29) PK% 77.0% (20)
51.96% (5) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.61% (29)
52.34% (6) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.47% (29)
10.38 (1) 5v5 Shooting % 7.76 (26)
.911 (22) 5v5 Save % .909 (24)
Jared McCann, 27 G Leader Boone Jenner, 19
Jordan Eberle, 34 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 39
Jordan Eberle, 47 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 54
Yanni Gourde, 50 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 77
18-9-3 Home / Road 13-18-2
4-5-1 Last 10 5-3-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Johnny Gaudreau
Kirill Marchenko Jack Roslovic Kent Johnson
Liam Foudy Cole Sillinger Emil Bemstrom
Eric Robinson Sean Kuraly Mathieu Olivier
Tim Berni Erik Gudbranson
Nick Blankenburg Andrew Peeke
Gavin Bayreuther Adam Boqvist
Elvis Merzlikins
Michael Hutchinson

Seattle Kraken

Jared McCann Matthew Beniers Jordan Eberle
Jaden Schwartz Alexander Wennberg Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eeli Tolvanen Yanni Gourde Ryan Donato
Brandon Tanev Morgan Geekie Daniel Sprong
Vince Dunn Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak William Borgen
Carson Soucy Justin Schultz
Martin Jones
Philipp Grubauer

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