Game 72: Sunday Scuffle
The Jackets did not hold a pre-game skate, but there's some interesting news coming out of Nationwide Arena before this afternoon's game.
- Grant Clitsome will miss today's game, as expected, and may also be out for Tuesday's trip to Colorado.
- Anton Stralman is close to being ready, and is likely to make the trip to Colorado and Phoenix this week.
- Ethan Moreau will play today, after being out of the lineup yesterday.
- Thanks to Tom Reed of the Dispatch for this stat: Since January 11, the Jackets have gotten 67 points from their defense. Only the Islanders(74) and Canadiens (69) have more. Imagine if they'd been able to do that all season...?
The news of Anton Stralman's return makes it less likely that the club will call back another defenseman from Springfield, but it's also interesting because the Swedish d-man will have a lot to prove in the next ten or so games. Stralman is, after all, an RFA this summer, and while he improved in his defensive ability (only a -5, compared to -17 last year), his disappointing offensive stats have put him in an uncomfortable position, particularly compared to newcomer Sami Lepisto, Grant Clitsome, or Marc Methot - all of whom will also be up for new contracts.
If he's going to prove he can stick with this club, he'd better do something impressive, because much like the Jackets, his season is running out of time.
In less Jackets-centric news, Matt Cooke was tossed from today's "Game of the Week" vs the Rangers for a nasty elbow to the head that essentially gave turned the game around - and gave it to the Rangers. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens to Cooke, considering the stance around the league about toughening up against hits to the head.