22-16-9 (53 points; .564%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
9:30 P.M. – MONDAY, JANUARY 23
CALGARY, AB, CANADA
It's a date that has been circled on many calendars across the province of Alberta.
Johnny Gaudreau makes his return to where it all got started when the Columbus Blue Jackets begin a four-game road trip against the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Gaudreau spent nine seasons with the Flames, the team that drafted him 104th overall in the 2011 draft. He scored 210 goals and added 399 assists during his 609 games as a Flame.
His decision to leave Calgary last summer was one that was met with angst from many of the Calgary faithful. Particularly upsetting was the fact that he chose Columbus — inaccurately portrayed as a bad destination for a premier free agent — to spend the next seven years of his career.
A chorus of boos likely awaits Gaudreau when he takes the ice, though at least one round of applause would seem to be in order for the inevitable tribute video. In either event, it's sure to be an emotional night for all involved.
Here's what to know for Monday's game, which will not be aired by Bally Sports Ohio and instead will be exclusive to ESPN+ and Hulu:
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK||21%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538||29%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK BETTING||CGY -385|
|FLAMES: LAST THREE GAMES|
|MON, 1/16||@ Predators||L, 2-1|
|WED, 1/18||vs. Avalanche||L, 4-1|
|SAT, 1/21||vs. Lightning||W, 6-3|
|FLAMES: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: FLAMES
This is the second meeting of the year between the two teams. The Blue Jackets won in Columbus back on December 9th, a 3-1 victory that started a five-game losing streak for the Flames.
Calgary is tied in points for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference, though have played two more games than the team they're tied with, the Colorado Avalanche. Obviously, Calgary is in better shape than Columbus is this season — but they're certainly not in the position they were in last year.
Gaudreau leaving was the start of an unexpectedly busy offseason for the Flames. Matthew Tkachuk, who was second on the team behind Johnny Hockey with 104 points last season, was traded to Florida in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau had 115 points with the Panthers last season — the same amount that Gaudreau had with Calgary. This year Huberdeau has just 32 points in 44 games, and his nine goals is tied for 5th on the team. That's shaky for a 29-year-old who just signed a franchise-record contract worth $84 million over the next eight years.
- After a couple of tough losses to the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche, the Flames got back in the win category Saturday by doubling up the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-3. The Flames stopped all six Lightning man advantages, handcuffing the second-rated power play in the league. Overall, Calgary has successfully killed 16 of the last 17 opposition power plays and rank 6th in the league with an 82.7% kill rate.
FOLLOW-UP TO A WIN?
The last time the Blue Jackets won back-to-back games was nearly six weeks ago. The first of those two wins? The aforementioned 3-1 victory December 9th against the Flames. After Saturday's come-from-behind win over the San Jose Sharks, Columbus now finds themselves one win away from a second straight victory. (If they win the one after that, it's called a winning streak. It has happened before.)
THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR GAVY IN COLUMBUS?
There is no shortage of Blue Jackets rumored to be available as the March 3rd trade deadline approaches. One name that has been mentioned repeatedly in recent weeks is that of Vladislav Gavrikov, and it was reported over the weekend that Columbus is allowing the soon-to-be free agent to speak with teams to help facilitate a trade. The destination would almost certainly be a contending team, and with the Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Seattle Kraken all on this week's road trip, there is more than a slight chance that Gavrikov will play against his future team sometime on this road trip.
THE POWER PLAY SCORED. CAN THEY DO IT AGAIN?
When Gaudreau got Columbus on the board for the first time in Saturday's win, the Blue Jackets ended a seven-game streak without a power play tally. A power play goal Monday would give them man-advantage goals in back-to-back games for just the third time this season, and the first time in over two months.
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||38||Boone Jenner||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|14||Gus Nyquist||96||Jack Roslovic||29||Patrik Laine|
|91||Kent Johnson||34||Cole Sillinger||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|19||Liam Foudy||6||Sean Kuraly||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|4||Vladislav Gavrikov||27||Adam Boqvist|
|75||Tim Berni||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|77||Nick Blankenburg||2||Andrew Peeke|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||40||Daniil Tarasov|