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Game #67 Preview: Blue Jackets swimming with Sharks at NWA

Saturday, March 16, 2024 – 7:00 PM EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV: Bally Sports Ohio – Radio: 97.1FM
Opponent’s Blog: Fear the Fin

San Jose Sharks (16-42-7, 39 points, 8th Pacific, 16th West)
Columbus Blue Jackets (22-33-11, 55 points, 8th Metropolitan, 16th West)

The Blue Jackets lost to the worst team in the Eastern Conference (not including themselves) Thursday night. Let’s hope they can beat the worst team in the West tonight!

Player to Watch

Alex Nylander

With the plethora of injuries the Jackets have experienced, Alex Nylander is now on the top line. And he absolutely deserves it! He has six goals and eight points in 10 games since being traded to us from Pittsburgh, including two powerplay goals. In other words, if he’d been with us the whole season and kept that pace for all 66 games so far, he’d have 40 goals (double the best on the team), 13 assists (11th on the team), and 53 points (best on the team). And the 13 powerplay goals would account for 38% of the team’s total. Hockey makes sense, I swear.

Game Notes

Yegor Chinakhov! Patrik Laine! Sean Kuraly! Alex Texier! Justin Danforth! Adams Fantilli and Boqvist! All currently injured! Blue Jackets hockey is back! … Elvis rebounded from the Montreal game to stop 27 of 29 shots with a .946 save percentage in Ottawa. … The Sharks are also dealing with injury issues, and went with the ultra-rare 13F/5D setup Thursday in Pittsburgh as a result. … The Sharks swapped Kappo Kahkonen for Vitek Vanacek at the trade deadline last week. However, Vanacek is injured, so their current two goalies are Magnus Chrona and Devin Cooley. … The Sharks have had three separate losing streaks of nine or more games this year.

Season Series

2/17/2024 – CBJ 4 at SJ 3
3/16/2024 – San Jose at Columbus


San JoseColumbus
2.20 (31)GPG2.91 (23)
3.91 (32)GAPG3.58 (30)
21.0% (18)PP%14.2% (30)
73.8% (30)PK%76.8% (24)
43.9% (32)5v5 Shot Attempt %48.6% (22)
43.2% (32)5v5 Unblocked Shot Attempt %48.5% (21)
7.0% (31)5v5 Shooting %9.1% (10)
.905 (27)5v5 Save %.912 (20)
Fabian Zetterlund, 17G LeaderBoone Jenner, 20
Mikael Granlund, 33A LeaderJohnny Gaudreau, 37
Mikael Granlund, 42P LeaderJohnny Gaudreau, 47
Kyle BurroughsPIM LeaderErik Gudbranson, 59
1-7-2Last 104-5-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny GaudreauBoone JennerAlex Nylander
Alexandre TexierCole SillingerKirill Marchenko
Mikael PyyhtiaDmitri VoronkovTrey Fix-Wolansky
Carson MeyerBrenden GaunceMathieu Olivier
Zach WerenskiAdam Boqvist?
Ivan ProvorovDamon Severson
Jake BeanErik Gudbranson
Daniil Tarasov
Elvis Merzlikins

San Jose Sharks

Alexander BarabanovMikael GranlundFabian Zetterlund
Filip ZadinaWilliam EklundLuke Kunin
Thomas BordeleauNico SturmKlim Kostin
Givani SmithRyan CarpenterJustin Bailey
Mario FerraroKyle Burroughs
Henry ThrunMard-Edouard Vlassic
Kevin LabancCalen Addison
Magnus Chrona
Devin Cooley

Play Me Out

I’m adding a new segment, because I’m running out of things to talk about with this team and I want to talk about something positive. So here’s two song recommendations! First off, local legends Twenty One Pilots announced their next album, Clancy, and the lead single “Overcompensate” has been stuck in my head for two weeks.

And it feels kinda weird to do this for a game against the Sharks and not recommend “Sharks” by Imagine Dragons, from their 2022 album Mercury, Part II. So the inaugural Play Me Out’s a double-feature!