Game Preview #22 - Like A Snowball Rolling Downhill...

The Jackets continue their battle against injuries and look to right the ship at home against the Avalanche.

Colorado Avalanche at Columbus Blue Jackets

March 3, 2013 - 3:00pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Mile High Hockey
SBNation Game Page

Well, for once I don't have to write about the latest crazy injury afflicting the Blue Jackets. They escaped Friday night unscathed, and didn't skate this morning. So, barring any other unforeseen acts of and angry Hockey God, we should see the same lineup as Friday, with the only switch in net.

On paper (see below), these teams are fairly evenly matched. Their per-game numbers are very similar, with Colorado having the slight edge. But, as we know, games aren't played on paper; the Avs have a certain je ne sais quoi that gives the Jackets fits.

Oh, wait. Actually, je sais quoi: speed. The Jackets seem to be flummoxed by the way Colorado skates. Every single game there are stretches where it looks like Columbus is standing still.

That said, the Jackets--while not winning--have been playing hard and actually playing pretty well, I would argue, of late. They have just a 1-2-2 record in their last five, but who among us wouldn't say--especially given the competition and circumstances with injuries--that they haven't looked about as good as you could possibly ask?

So, today's opponent isn't in quite the same zip code as Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas... yet. Can the Jackets bring the same intensity, same energy, and same--gasp--goal-scoring of late to this one, and grab a win at home?

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(5-12-4, 14 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

R.J. Umberger Ryan Johansen Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert Artem Anisimov Cam Atkinson
Vinny Prospal Mark Letestu Derek Dorsett
Colton Gillies Derek MacKenzie Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin Nikita Nikitin
Tim Erixon Adrian Aucoin
Dalton Prout Cody Goloubef
Sergei Bobrovsky
Steve Mason

Colorado Avalanche
(8-8-3, 19 Points; 4th Division, 13th Conference)

Gabriel Landeskog Paul Stastny Milan Hejduk
Jamie McGinn Matt Duchene P.A. Parenteau
John Mitchell Mark Olver David Jones
Cody McLeod Chuck Kobasew Aaron Palushaj
Jan Hejda Tyson Barrie
Matt Hunwick Ryan O'Byrne
Shane O'Brien Greg Zanon
Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Season Series

01/24/13 - Columbus 0 at Colorado 4
03/03/13 - Colorado at Columbus
04/15/13 - Columbus at Colorado

Head to Head

Colorado Columbus
2.53 (20) GPG 2.19 (27)
3.00 (23) GAPG 3.05 (25)
12.9% (27) PP% 12.0% (28)
78.3% (23) PK% 84.2% (10)
P.A. Parenteau, 8 G leader Vinny Prospal, 7
Matt Duchene, 12 A leader Fedor Tyutin, 7
Matt Duchene, 19 Pts leader three tied, 11
Patrick Bordeleau, 41 PIM leader Jared Boll, 69
2-6-2 Road/Home 3-4-3
2/28 vs Calgary, W 5-4 Last Game 3/1 @ Chicago, L 4-3 (OT)
4-3-3 Last 10 2-6-2

Game Notes

  • Johans-age - What a beauty goal for Joey to get off the goose-egg in the goal department. I like the top two forward lines as constructed--given the available personell--and they seemed to play well against Chicago. it would be nice for the monkey to be off of Johansen's back (whether it be the "hey why am I in the AHL?" monkey, or the "when am I going to score a goal?" monkey) and get him going. He had some stretches last season where he scored in bunches. This team could use some of that.
  • The PK - Don't look now, but even without Brandon Dubinsky, the Jackets have climbed back into the top 10 in PK work. They've gone four straight--against some good PP competition--without a goal allowed, and 13 overall PKs without a goal (the one-second-after goal in Chicago notwithstanding). During such an abysmal season in terms of stats and wins/losses, this area has been the club's one bright spot.
  • Home Cooking - The Jackets' overall record is not a pretty sight, but their home record is, ehhh, respectable all things considered. Nine of their next 10 are at Nationwide Arena. I know we've mostly resigned ourselves to the MacKinnon/Jones derby at this point, but it would be pretty nice to see this team put together a nice run at home over the next month.

Just remember: it's 12:35 PM on March 3, 2013...


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