11–20–3 (25 points; .368%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
6:00 P.M. – SUNDAY, JANUARY 23
BALLY SPORTS OHIO
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Death, taxes, and the inconsistency of the 2021-22 Columbus Blue Jackets.
The guarantees of life.
Friday's loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins was the seventh consecutive game for the Blue Jackets in which the result was different than the previous game: loss, win, loss, win, loss, win, loss.
A victory Sunday over the Ottawa Senators would make it eight straight, and it's one of the few games in recent weeks in which both MoneyPuck and FiveThirtyEight give the edge to Columbus. The Senators lost their third straight game Saturday, squandering a 2-0 third period lead and falling to the Washington Capitals in overtime. Only the Arizona Coyotes (10) and Montreal Canadiens (8) have fewer wins than Ottawa's 11 wins in 34 games so far this season.
|PACES & PROJECTIONS|
|52.6%||MONEYPUCK'S ODDS TO WIN||47.4%|
|59.0%||THE 538'S ODDS TO WIN||41.0%|
|80.7||EVOLVING HOCKEY'S POINT PROJ.||72.0|
|79.8||82-GAME POINT PACE||60.3|
As a result of COVID-19, the Senators have found themselves with one of the wilder schedules in the league. They've played the fewest games of any team this season (34) and played just one game between December 18th and January 13th — a 6-0 loss in Toronto on New Year's Day. Despite the current three-game losing streak, they've shown some degree of improvement since their restart, defeating the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames on the road.
The Senators are in the middle of a rebuild, and the youth of their goal-scoring shows it: no Ottawa skater over the age of 23 has scored more than six goals this season. Joshua Norris, 22, leads Ottawa with 18 goals on the season, and tied for second with 12 is the 23-year-old Drake Batherson and 22-year-old Brady Tkachuk. The trio are also the only three Senators with more than 20 points on the season.
At 3.65 goals allowed per game, Ottawa is one of just four teams who, on average, allow more goals per game than Columbus. The Blue Jackets are 4-0-0 against teams who have a goals against average higher than theirs this season.
A LUMP OF COLE
It's not the gift most would want to find, but this lump of Cole will be a welcome sight for the 5th Line. Cole Sillinger is eligible to return to the Blue Jackets lineup Sunday, after missing three games in the last week while in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol. The 18-year-old rookie had been noticeably improving in recent games prior to entering the protocol, and returning with that same intensity would be a great sign as he enters the second half of his rookie season.
GONNA NEED THAT PP TO COME THROUGH
The Blue Jackets power play has converted just twice on 25 attempts in the new year. The excuses were there for a while when the top unit wasn't intact due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols, but they're all together now and it's time to convert at better than the 8% clip Columbus has produced in January.
PEEKE ON THE TOP
The results may not show this season, but this season has been one that Andrew Peeke might look back to in a few years as the season he discovered his NHL game. In the last three games, Peeke has a dozen blocks and has laid out a dozen more hits. He leads the team by a wide margin in the blocks, and trails only Sean Kuraly in hits — and even that is close. Peeke hadn't had 24 minutes of ice time in a game all season until Thursday's victory in Philadelphia. Between that game and Friday's loss (no fault of Peeke's), he's now got two games in a row of 25:00+ minutes. That's a sign of the trust head coach Brad Larsen has in the young blue liner.
|93||Jakub Voracek||38||Boone Jenner||28||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|14||Gus Nyquist||42||Alexandre Texier||29||Patrik Laine|
|59||Yegor Chinakhov||34||Cole Sillinger||96||Jack Roslovic|
|50||Eric Robinson||7||Sean Kuraly||16||Max Domi|
|8||Zach Werenski||2||Andrew Peeke|
|5||Gavin Bayreuther||22||Jake Bean|
|46||Dean Kukan||32||Jake Christiansen|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||70||Joonas Korpisalo|
*SUBJECT TO CHANGE