Game Preview #39 - Finish The Trip Strong
The Jackets finish their four-game road trip in Toronto, hoping to make up ground on a team in front of them in the Wild Card race. Four pointer!
Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs
January 9, 2015 - 7:30 pm EST
Air Canada Centre - Toronto, Ontario
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Pension Plan Puppets
Man, has it been a long time since we've seen Toronto. That night--Halloween, incidentally--the Jackets turned Nationwide Arena into a house of horrors by icing a lineup that was at least HALF AHL-level players, IMHO. The results were as you'd expect.
What a difference two-plus months make. The Jackets have gone through The Dark Times, and have climbed back above the .500 mark. This is right around the time last season that they went on their run, but here they are having already gone on a pretty crazy 12-2-1 run to get to this point.
Which is good enough for 12th in the conference. Oy.
The Leafs are sinking like a stone, having lost eight of 10 after reaching their high water mark of 19-9-3 in mid-December. The good news for Columbus is that that means Toronto is just six points ahead, and the Jackets have three games in hand. At this point, I try not to look at the standings overall (i.e., how many points out of a playoff spot are we?) and instead look at the teams right in front of us. Ottawa is one point in front, and the Jackets have games in hand. Toronto is next, as we noted. And they just fired their coach and got blitzed 14-4 in three straight losses. They're also missing some bodies up front, most notably Joffrey Lupul.
In other words, We Fight, We March. One team at a time. Ottawa is off tonight, and so a win would put Columbus in 11th place, and just four points back of Toronto in 10th with games in hand. Just gotta keep winning.
Apologies for the lateness of this preview. Work. Can't be helped sometimes.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(18-17-3, 39 Points; 5th division, 12th conference)
|Scott Hartnell||Ryan Johansen||Nick Foligno|
|Matt Calvert||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Sean Collins||Alexander Wennberg||Jack Skille|
|Jeremy Morin||Mark Letestu||Jared Boll|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Kevin Connauton||James Wisniewski|
|Fedor Tyutin||Cody Goloubef|
Toronto Maple Leafs
(21-17-3, 45 Points; 6th Division, 10th Conference)
|Daniel Winnik||Tyler Bozak||Phil Kessel|
|James van Riemsdyk||Nazem Kadri||Richard Panik|
|Leo Komarov||Mike Santorelli||David Clarkson|
|David Booth||Sam Carrick||Trevor Smith|
|Dion Phaneuf||Cody Franson|
|Morgan Rielly||Roman Polak|
|Jake Gardiner||Stephane Robidas|
10/31/14 - Toronto 4 at Columbus 1
01/09/15 - Columbus at Toronto
04/08/15 - Toronto at Columbus
Head to Head Stats
|3.15 (2)||GPG||2.53 (22)|
|3.10 (25)||GAPG||3.16 (26)|
|19.9% (11)||PP%||23.9% (3)|
|82.5% (11)||PK%||79.9% (19)|
|Phil Kessel, 18||G leader||Nick Foligno, 17|
|Phil Kessel, 23||A leader||Ryan Johansen, 23|
|Phil Kessel, 41||Pts leader||Nick Foligno, 38|
|Dion Phaneuf, 69||PIM leader||Jared Boll, 54|
|1/7 vs. Washington, L 6-2||Last Game||1/6 @ Dallas, W 4-2|