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Game Preview #51 – Umm, So What Was *THAT* Exactly?

Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators

February 7th, 2015 – 7:00 PM EST
Canadian Tire Centre – Kanata, Ontario
Radio – WBNS 97.1 – TV – Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent’s Blog: Silver Seven

Where to begin?

Well, first of all, holy crap. What in entire sheeps’ balls was that last night?

The Blue Jackets not only ended the Blues‘ 13-game points streak, but they did it in about the most commanding fashion imaginable. Their seven goals actually bumped their total goals-per-game average up almost a full tenth of a point, which, this late in the season, is ridiculous for one game. Remember last season when the Jackets had won eight in a row and then lost–at home–to lowly Buffalo? On the “bummer” scale, that was a strong 7. That game last night for Blues fans probably broke the scale entirely. Wowzers.

Of course, it was not without a price. In the process of both blocking shot attempts late in a laugher of a game, both James Wisniewski and Ryan Murray (@#&!*) managed to sustain injuries deemed serious enough not to even travel to Ottawa. I can’t make the sarcasm font in this part of the preview, so pretend the following is in said font: the silver lining is that at least we’ve been carrying nine defensemen.

It’s been a long time since the Jackets and Sens have matched up. The last time was just the ninth game of the season, and it was the mark where the injury thing got patently ridiculous. So, it almost seems fitting to be down two defensemen tonight.

If you’re still into the notion of checking the standings until the math says we shouldn’t, it’s important to note that the Sens are just in front of the Jackets (though Columbus is still 14 points out of eighth place, so let’s be real). They axed Paul MacLean back in December, and have basically been treading water since then.

If the Jackets were able to play close to how they played last nigh ALL the time, they could make a run. But, let’s just admit the fact that they always seem to play up or down to their competition at the worst times. As Todd Richards said in the post game, last night has to be the new normal effort level for this team. You’re obviously not going to win 7-1 every night, but you’ve shown you can do it. You have to do it every night, now.

If they do, nothing’s completely out of reach. If it was just a short mirage… well, the draft is in June.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(22-25-3, 47 Points; 7th division, 14th conference)

Scott Hartnell Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno Brandon Dubinsky Corey Tropp
Alexander Wennberg Artem Anisimov Jack Skille
Matt Calvert Mark Letestu Jared Boll

Jack Johnson David Savard
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Kevin Connauton Jordan Leopold

Curtis McElhinney
Anton Forsberg

Ottawa Senators
(20-21-9, 49 Points; 6th Division, 12th Conference)

Clarke MacArthur Mika Zibanejad Bobby Ryan
Milan Michalek Kyle Turris Mark Stone
Erik Condra David Legwand Chris Neil
Mike Hoffman Curtis Lazar Alex Chiasson

Marc Methot Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki Eric Gryba

Robin Lehner
Craig Anderson

Season Series

OTT – 2-0-0
CBJ – 0-2-0

02/07/15 – Columbus at Ottawa

Head to Head Stats

Ottawa Columbus
2.70 (16) GPG 2.48 (23)
2.72 (19) GAPG 3.10 (26)
16.4% (23) PP% 23.0% (5)
83.0% (10) PK% 79.8% (22)
Mike Hoffman, 17 G leader Nick Foligno / Ryan Johansen, 20
Erik Karlsson / Bobby Ryan, 23 A leader Nick Foligno / Ryan Johansen, 28
Bobby Ryan, 37 Pts leader Nick Foligno / Ryan Johansen, 48
Eric Gryba, 72 PIM leader Scott Hartnell, 69
11-8-4 Home/Road 11-12-1
4-5-1 Last 10 4-6-0
2/5 vs. Washington, L 2-1 Last Game 2/6 vs. St. Louis, W 7-1