19–12–6 (44 points; .595%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7:00 P.M. – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26
BALLY SPORTS OHIO
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
It's been two frustrating losses in a row for the Columbus Blue Jackets, both coming at Nationwide Arena. They'll look to end the skid Wednesday when the Calgary Flames come to Ohio's capital for the only time this season.
Columbus' frustration started Friday night in a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game was significantly closer than the score indicated, tied in the final period before a myriad of bad luck, weird bounces, and questionable calls gave Pittsburgh the win.
The frustration continued Sunday, when former Blue Jackets goalie Anton Forsberg stopped 35 of 36 for the Ottawa Senators in a 2-1 victory.
Meanwhile, Calgary enters the game fresh off a 7-1 trouncing of the St. Louis Blues. It was their best offensive output of the season and matched the most goals the Flames have in a game since — wait for it — scoring nine times in a 9-6 victory in Columbus in December of 2018.
|PACES & PROJECTIONS|
|41.8%||MONEYPUCK'S ODDS TO WIN||58.2%|
|48.0%||THE 538'S ODDS TO WIN||52.0%|
|79.2||EVOLVING HOCKEY'S POINT PROJ.||98.7|
|77.8||82-GAME POINT PACE||97.5|
Sandwiched between the Flames 7-1 win Monday and an even more impressive 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers a week earlier was a 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Before that? A 4-1 loss to those same pesky Senators that triumphed in Columbus over the weekend.
In other words, the Flames have been a bit inconsistent as of late. Overall, Calgary has lost four consecutive road games and have allowed at least four goals in each outing.
The Flames can score in droves, though. Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane are tied for the team lead in goals (18 each), but Johnny Gaudreau (16g-32a-48p) is the team leader in points and the most creative playmaker in the lineup. Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm (13g-19a-32p) are each at a plus/minus of +25 on the season, tied for 4th best in the league.
Jacob Markstrom is having a career year between the pipes, with a .924 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average in 28 starts. Both are career-best numbers and is a key cog in the Flames .595 point percentage, second-best in the Pacific Division. Markstrom got the start in Monday's win and Wednesday's game is the first night of a back-to-back (the Flames play the Blues again Thursday), so the start may go to Daniel Vladar. He has just 14 games under his belt at the NHL level, but his 2.73 goals against and .910 save percentage in nine starts this year has shown he is more than capable.
THE POWER PLAY STINKS
The Blue Jackets are checking at 7% on the power play since December 1st, and that may not be the worst part about their man-advantage as of late. There's a reason he's the coach and I'm on Twitter (@BlueJacketStats, by the way!), but head coach Brad Larsen may want to consider mixing up the power play units a little bit. They're really bad right now. Eric Robinson has just two minutes on the power play this season — would it be the worst thing in the world to give him a try?
LINES OF COLE-CAIN
At practice Tuesday, Cole Sillinger skated with Max Domi and Oliver Bjorkstrand. That's an intriguing trio and limited data indicates that they can do some damage. The Blue Jackets have a ton of forwards who have played at least ten minutes together this season — 43 different trios, to be exact — and the combination of 16/34/28 ranks 5th of those 43 in expected goals, at 4.37. It's a super small sample size (14 minutes), but that's a speedy and skilled line. Let's see if it goes beyond practice.
That line wasn't the only thing of note from Tuesday's practice. Defenseman Adam Boqvist was back on the ice, after clearing protocol. He was skating with Jake Bean.
|29||Patrik Laine||38||Boone Jenner||14||Gus Nyquist|
|16||Max Domi||34||Cole Sillinger||28||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|93||Jakub Voracek||96||Jack Roslovic||42||Alexandre Texier|
|50||Eric Robinson||7||Sean Kuraly||59||Yegor Chinakhov|
|8||Zach Werenski||2||Andrew Peeke|
|22||Jake Bean||27||Adam Boqvist|
|46||Dean Kukan||44||Vladislav Gavrikov|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||70||Joonas Korpisalo|
*SUBJECT TO CHANGE