Game Preview #3(x): Blue Jackets vs. Wild

In part 2 of tonight's split-squad matchup, the Jackets send a contingent to Minnesota to face the Wild.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild

September 17, 2013 - 8:00pm EDT
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, Minnesota
Radio - None - TV - None
Opponents Blog: Hockey Wilderness
SBNation Game Page

The Jackets finish their second night of exhibition hockey with a split squad effort, on the road in Minnesota. Columbus is sending quite the requisite few regulars for this game, but one interesting note is that James Wisniewski and Ryan Murray appear to get another run together tonight.

Making their pre-season debuts tonight are Ryan Johansen, Michael Chaput, and Kerby Rychel, among others. Sadly, Wiz will not get a chance to again see Cal Clutterbuck in the pre-season (wait, that's probably a good thing), but the Jackets need to be wary of professional devil-goon Matt Cooke. He can talk about turning over a new leaf all he wants, but some leopards just never change their spots.

The Wild, despite it being their opener, is not dressing any of their big-name acquisitions from last season in Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Jason Pominville, or Dany Heatley. That said, Columbus will see one of their personal kryptonites in goal in Niklas Backstrom, he of the 2.11 gaa and .925 sv% lifetime against the Jackets in 19 regular season meetings.

Craig Hartsburg leads the Jackets' bench in this game.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(1-0-0 in pre-season)

Jack Skille Ryan Craig Cam Atkinson
Blake Comeau Ryan Johansen Cody Bass
Michael Chaput Sean Collins Kerby Rychel
Mark Letestu Jake Hansen Trent Vogelhuber
James Wisniewski Ryan Murray
Ilari Melart Will Weber
Cody Goloubef Blake Parlett
Jeremy Smith
Oscar Dansk

Minnesota Wild
(0-0-0 in pre-season)

Stephane Veilleux Kyle Brodziak Torrey Mitchell
Jason Zucker Mikael Granlund Justin Fontaine
Matt Cooke Charlie Coyle Nino Niederreiter
Jake Dowell David Steckel Carson McMillan
Mathew Dumba Keith Ballard
Marco Scandella Nate Prosser
Brian Connelly Jonathon Blum
Niklas Backstrom
Darcy Kuemper

Game Notes

In lieu of game notes, we'll just point out that the Jackets missed the playoffs by a tie-breaker with these guys, and though it means literally nothing to beat them tonight, man would it sure be interesting to see how Bob looks, and I'm excited to see Boone Jenner as well.

Subscribe to The Cannon

Don’t miss out on the latest articles. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only articles.