Game Preview #57 - Get Busy Livin'...
...or Get Busy Dyin'. That's damn right.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens
February 21, 2015 - 7:00 pm EST
Bell Centre - Montreal, Quebec
Radio - WWCD 102.5 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Eyes On The Prize
You probably recognize today's title. I've been waiting for a solid month or so to be able to completely define the rest of the Jackets' season. The moment I give up and leave them for dead, they spring back to life with a couple wins in a row. Since these teams last met--in the midst of an ugly four-game losing streak for Columbus that I was sure was the end--they've gone exactly .500 (8-8-0) including the loss to Montreal, and just won't go away. With Boston's struggles, nothing's outside the realm of possibility at this point.
But, they need to figure it out for sure, and start moving that way in a hurry. If you're going to make a playoff push, you can't keep going .500; that just won't cut it. Likewise, if you're not, going .500 is about the worst thing you can do if you're in the business of hoping for a franchise-altering draft pick.
Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'.
At any rate, the Jackets had the Habs dead to rights when they met in January, and let them off the hook by taking bad penalties and allowing a pretty (at the time) putrid PP unit to light them up in the third period. That loss stung. The Habs are missing some key guys up front from a unit that doesn't score a ton anyway, so if the Jackets can be strong enough defensively you have to give them a puncher's chance in the same way that they won on Thursday. They have to be disciplined, and they have to continue to build on what's been working.
The Calvert--Dubinsky--Atkinson line has been hot of late, so here's hoping they can continue to cash in.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(26-27-3, 55 Points; 6th division, 12th conference)
|Scott Hartnell||Ryan Johansen||Alexander Wennberg|
|Matt Calvert||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Marko Dano||Artem Anisimov||Nick Foligno|
|Corey Tropp||Mark Letestu||Jared Boll|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Kevin Connauton||James Wisniewski|
|Fedor Tyutin||Cody Goloubef|
(37-16-5, 79 Points; 1st Division,1st Conference)
|Max Pacioretty||David Desharnais||Brendan Gallagher|
|Jiri Sekac||Tomas Plekanec||Lars Eller|
|Brandon Prust||Jacob De La Rose||Dale Weise|
|Michael Bournival||Manny Malhotra||Christian Thomas|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Tom Gilbert|
|Jarred Tinordi||Greg Pateryn|
MON - 1-0-0
CBJ - 0-1-0
01/14/15 - Montreal 3 at Columbus 2
02/21/15 - Columbus at Montreal
02/26/15 - Montreal at Columbus
Head to Head Stats
|2.55 (23)||GPG||2.59 (21)|
|2.21 (1)||GAPG||3.07 (26)|
|16.4% (25)||PP%||22.0% (6)|
|85.2% (6)||PK%||80.8% (18)|
|Max Pacioretty, 27||G leader||Nick Foligno, 22|
|P.K. Subban, 31||A leader||Ryan Johansen, 31|
|Max Pacioretty, 50||Pts leader||Nick Foligno / Ryan Johansen, 52|
|Brandon Prust, 102||PIM leader||Scott Hartnell, 78|
|2/19 vs. Florida, L 3-2 (SO)||Last Game||2/19 @ Pittsburgh, W 2-1|