Jackets Announce Roster for Atlanta Game - Now With Line Combos!
With the first pre-season game in Atlanta just over a day away, the Blue Jackets have announced the squad that will be sent to take on the Thrashers in Phillips Arena:
Ben Guite, Matt Calvert, Mike Blunden, Derek Dorsett, Andrew Murray, Tom Sestito, Derek MacKenzie, Kyle Wilson, Dalton Smith, Dan Fritsche, Kyle Neuber, Oliver Gabriel
Nate Guenin, Marc Methot, Mike Commodore, Nick Holden, Brent Regner, Jonathan Sigalet, Cody Goloubef, Michael Ratchuk.
Goalies: David LeNeveu, Mathieu Garon.
Lines and a look at Atlanta's roster after the jump.
1: Matt Calvert -- Derek MacKenzie -- Derek Dorsett
F2: Tom Sestito -- Kyle Wilson -- Mike Blunden
F3: Oliver Gabriel -- Andrew Murray -- Dan Fritsche
F4: Dalton Smith -- Ben Guite -- Kyle Neuber
D1: Marc Methot -- Brent Regner
D2: Jordan Sigalet -- Mike Commodore
D3: Nick Holden -- Nate Guenin
G1: Mathieu Garon
G2: David LeNeveu
Extras: Mike Ratchuk, D; Cody Goloubef, D.
Quite a physical lineup. Between Sestito, Smith, and Neuber, don't be shocked if we hear the play by play of more than a few fights on the radio tomorrow night. I'm also a bit surprised that the defense is weighted so heavily towards the Springfield crowd, given all the talk of wanting to get the D used to Arniel's way of doing things in games as soon as possible, but it will be a great opportunity to see Goloubef in action after his strong Traverse City run and performance at the owner's tournament on Sunday.
I'm excited to see Dorsett and Calvert together. Even if Calvert doesn't make it to the NHL out of camp, they seem like a natural future line combination.
Pairing Methot with Regner and Sigalet with Commodore seems to be a case of providing a more "offensive" guy with a steady partner. Good in theory, but we'll see how it holds up to the stress of a live game.
Given the emphasis on youth and trying out goaltenders in a competition for starting time in Springfield, anyone else a little surprised that Garon will be in net? It seems strange to bring LeNeveu into camp and not give him at least a few pre-season starts.
The Thrashers have also announced their lineup, though we do not have line combos at this point:
Evander Kane, Bryan Little, Nigel Dawes, Ben Eager, Anthony Stewart, Spencer Machacek, Alexander Burmistrov, Fredrik Pettersson, Danick Pacquette, Riley Holzapfel, Akim Aliu, and Patrick Rissmiller.
Boris Valabik, Ron Hainsey, Arturs Kulda, Jamie Sifers, Freddy Meyer, and Andrey Zubarev
Goaltenders: Ondrej Pavelic & Drew MacIntyre
My first thought looking at that lineup is that Atlanta's going have an edge on skill. Kane had a very good rookie season, and he isn't afraid to scrap if needed. Burmistrov was Atlanta's first round pick this year, and was profiled as part of our draft prospect series.
The Jackets will have the advantage of a deeper bench, and I think guys like Calvert and Gabriel provide a good "X-factor", but it will be vital for the team to stay out of the box, or risk being burned by the Thrashers with the man advantage.