11–7–2 (24 points; .600%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
8:30 P.M. – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2
AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER
BALLY SPORTS OHIO
It's okay to say it: Tuesday sucked.
The 6-0 shutout loss in Nashville against the Predators on Tuesday night wasn't just Columbus' worse loss of the season, no. It was their worst loss in literal years. The last time Columbus lost by six goals was an 8-2 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning in October of 2018. It was a March loss in 2016 before that. In fact, Tuesday's embarrassment was the Blue Jackets' worst since a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers more than eight years ago, in November of 2013.
Columbus looked as incompetent on offense as they did on defense Tuesday, which was pretty incompetent. Their one goal on the evening was taken away by an obvious offsides. Quality shots were few and far between. Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins was pulled after giving up three goals on nine shots. The Blue Jackets were outplayed at every turn, and while it assumed that the young Columbus team would struggle points this season, Tuesday was reason for concern for a team that is still multiple games over .500.
Thursday brings a chance at redemption, but when the Blue Jackets go up against the Dallas Stars in the third of four straight on the road, they'll be facing perhaps the hottest team in the NHL. Dallas has won five straight games, and have been particularly tough at home.
|33.0%||MONEYPUCK'S ODDS TO WIN||67.0%|
|38.0%||THE 538'S ODDS TO WIN||62.0%|
|98.4||82 GAME POINT PACE||98.4|
Know The Foe
Tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Dallas Stars five-game winning streak is the longest current streak in the league. They've been downright dominant in that time, outscoring their opponents 18-6. In each game, Dallas has scored no less than three goals, and given up no more than two — including three 4-1 victories during that span. Look at who those victories were against and it gets even more impressive: St. Louis, Edmonton, and Carolina.
Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz keep the Dallas Stars capable on offense, though 22-year-old Jason Robertson has been even more impressive this season than last, when he finished second in Calder Cup voting for the NHL's Rookie of the Year. He has five goals and ten assists through 15 games, including six points in his last four games entering Thursday.
ANOTHER POTENT POWER PLAY
Another game, another team with a dominant power play. Dallas is converting at a nearly 27% clip this season, so Columbus will need to be careful to stay out of the box when they go up against the league's fourth-ranked power play. This comes on the heels of facing the man-advantage units of St. Louis and Nashville, who are ranked 2nd and 6th on the power play, respectively. The Blue Jackets saw success there, allowing just one goal on six power play chances.
THE RESPONSE OF A DEFENSE (+ELVIS)
Merzlikins' was pulled after giving up three goals on nine shots in Tuesday's debacle. The defense in front of him did Elvis absolutely no favors, but he didn't do himself any either. Dallas isn't an offensive juggernaut, but through 20 games, they've scored in every game and have multiple goals in all but three. One of those three was a 4-1 loss at Nationwide Arena to Columbus in October. It would not be unfair to say that the Stars are looking for a measure of revenge when the season series concludes in Dallas.
BRING BACK BJORKY
Not that he's been out of the lineup or anything. It's more of a call-to-action for forward Oliver Bjorkstrand, who is slumping. After five goals and eight assists in the first ten games, Brjokstrand has just one goal and five assists in the next ten. Columbus has got to find a way to get Bjorkstrand going again, especially if the blue line is going to succeed in bringing other struggling players back to life. The way they've been giving up goals, that seems a lock.
LW C RW 59 Yegor Chinakhov 34 Cole Sillinger 93 Jakub Voracek 14 Gustav Nyquist 38 Boone Jenner 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand 15 Gregory Hofmann 96 Jack Roslovic 16 Max Domi 50 Eric Robinson 7 Sean Kuraly 42 Alexandre Texier LD RD 8 Zach Werenski 22 Jake Bean 44 Vladislav Gavrikov 2 Andrew Peeke 5 Gavin Bayreuther 27 Adam Boqvist Starting Goalie Backup 90 Elvis Merzlikins 70 Joonas Korpisalo
*subject to change