What a week it was for the Blue Jackets.
Rookie goaltender Elvis Merzlikins produced three dazzling performances, including two shutouts, as the Blue Jackets went 4-0 (all regulation wins) against tough opposition and strengthened their hold on a playoff position.
- vs. BOS (W, 3-0)
- vs. CAR (W, 3-2)
- vs. NJD (W, 5-0)
- @ NYR (W, 2-1)
Now, it's time to turn their attention towards the next game. There's just one more test before the All-Star break, but it'll be a tough one.
Let's take a look at the week ahead, which the Blue Jackets enter with a record of 26-16-8, good for 60 points and the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Wednesday, Jan. 22 vs. Winnipeg (25-20-4, 54 pts.)
Season Series: WPG 1-0-0
Winnipeg's Last Five Games: 1-4-0
The Blue Jackets' lone game this week pits them against the Jets, who the Blue Jackets have struggled against recently. In Winnipeg on November 23rd, the Jets took a 4-3 victory, scoring late on a Merzlikins miscue to take the lead.
The Jets are a solid team across the board, boasting 5 players with 15 or more goals on their roster. They've also had the Blue Jackets' number as of late, winning three in a row against Columbus.
It's a tough final game, but the Blue Jackets have gotten points in 19 of their last 21 games, and won five straight. They're resilient, but they'll have to solve a talented Jets team to go into the All-Star break with a six-game win streak.
Saturday, Jan. 25 — NHL All-Star Game
Defenseman Seth Jones will represent the Blue Jackets at the NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis. Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo was the original selection for the Blue Jackets, but a torn meniscus suffered in a shootout against Chicago in late December forced Korpisalo to pull out due to injury.
The game figures to be quite the spectacle, with the league's best and brightest stars showing off their talents.
What are your predictions for this week? Let us know!
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