Game Preview #23 -- Work Like the Devil
Pace and work are the keys as the Blue Jackets return to Newark for a tilt with the New Jersey Devils
Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils - 7:00 PM
After a third period lapse against the San Jose Sharks that led to a 5 - 3 defeat, the Blue Jackets have been worked hard -- both on the ice and in the video room. John Tortorella is adamant about instilling the need to play with pace for a full sixty minutes, and the only way to do that is to provide repetition and accountability. The structure is there --- the consistency is not.
With an optional morning skate and a bevy of roster moves, the lineup for this evening is a bit of a crap shoot. Where will Ryan Johansen be slotted, after his fourth line "demotion" -- and subsequent goal -- vs. the Sharks? With both Brandon Dubinsky and Alexander Wennberg slated to return to the lineup tonight, the demotion of Josh Anderson, the recall of Justin Falk and the IR placement of Rene Bourque and Cody Goloubef, anything is possible this evening. I'm projecting that Johansen stays between Brandon Saad & Boone Jenner, but don't be surprised if William Karlsson gets a shot there, with Johansen moving between Hartnell and Foligno. Justin Falk might draw in as well, while I think Sergei Bobrovsky will almost certainly be between the pipes tonight, likely splitting duty with McElhinney for the Friday/Saturday tandem against the Penguins and Blues.
The Devils have been something of a surprise in the early going this season, leveraging some great net play from Cory Schneider, and solid contributions across the lines, with Mike Cammalleri and Adam Henrique leading the way. Former Blue Jacket John Moore seems to have found a home in Jersey, after stints with the Rangers and Coyotes. He has a goal and two assists for the Devils in 19 appearances this season.
Bobrovsky has a three game winning streak against the Devils, and the Blue Jackets sincerely want to make up divisional ground and build momentum. It should be a taut, chippy affair, as these games tend to be. Keep tabs on the face-off stat tonight -- neither club is over 50% for the season, and the Blue Jackets are last in the league. They are hoping that Wennberg and Dubinsky will help fill that gap.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(8-14-0, 16 Points; 8th division, 16th conference)
|Boone Jenner||Ryan Johansen||Brandon Saad|
|Matt Calvert||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Scott Hartnell||William Karlsson||Nick Foligno|
|Kerby Rychel||Alexander Wennberg||Gregory Campbell|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Ryan Murray||Kevin Connauton|
|Andrew Bodnarchuk/Justin Falk||Dalton Prout|
New Jersey Devils
(11-8-1, 23 Points; 4th Division, 8th Conference)
|Mike Cammalleri||Adam Henrique||Lee Stempniak|
|Sergey Kalinen||Travis Zajac||Kyle Palmieri|
|Patrik Elias||Jacob Josefson||Stefan Matteau|
|Bobby Farnham||Stephen Gionta||Jordin Tootoo|
|Andy Greene||Adam Larsson|
|John Moore||Damon Severson|
|Jon Merrill||Eric Gelinas|