7:00 P.M. – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ Power Play
|ODDS & PROJECTIONS:
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK: 60%
PLAYOFF ODDS PER MONEYPUCK:
Blue Jackets: 4%
|TIPICO SPORTSBOOK: CBJ +125
Joonas Korpisalo played 210 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets over eight seasons.
Friday night, it will be Korpisalo versus the Blue Jackets for the first time when the Ottawa Senators come to town.
A warm ovation is a certainty for Korpisalo, who signed a long-term deal with the Senators over the summer after being traded by Columbus at last season's trade deadline.
Once the whistle blows, however, the story will be very different. The Blue Jackets have won three of their last five games but have let leads slip away in both of their losses. With Columbus' next seven games against teams above .500 on the horizon beginning Sunday in Boston, a chance to win at home against a sub-.500 team (an opportunity they missed Wednesday) is critical.
Here's what else to know when Ottawa hits the ice at Nationwide Arena:
|SENS LAST THREE GAMES
TALKING POINTS: OTT
More on Korpi: he hasn't gotten off to a spectacular start in Ottawa, but part of that is that the Senators aren't really a team that is strong on the blueline. In 12 games (11 starts) this season, Korpisalo has a .902 save percentage and 3.34 goals against average. In part because of an odd schedule, he's played just once in the last two weeks. That was Monday against Florida, where he allows five goals on 38 shots.
And, more on that odd schedule: with just 17, no team has played fewer games than Ottawa has this year. They were one of four teams in November's Global Series, with games in Sweden on the 16th and 18th. Still, they've played just twice in the 12 days since then and had just nine games on the schedule for the month. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, have played 24 games — 15 of which were in November. Quite the difference to the first six weeks of their respective seasons.
- Alexis Lafreniere was the first pick of the 2020 NHL Draft, but if the New York Rangers could do it again, they'd definitely take Tim Stützle, right? Coming off a 90-point season last year, his breakout campaign, the 21-year-old leads the team in assists (17) and points (22), and is on pace to break the century mark for points this season. He's scored four goals in six career games against the Blue Jackets, so, he is nearing Jacket-killer status at a young age.
TALKING POINTS: CBJ
Kent Johnson is back, baby. He primarily played center while in Cleveland with the Monsters, but head coach Pascal Vincent has indicated that the transition to center at the NHL level is not the immediate plan. Putting his money where his mouth is, Vincent had Johnson on the wing at practice Thursday, opposite of Johnny Gaudreau and centered by Boone Jenner.
Dmitri Voronkov's days as a hidden gem could be numbered, because the NHL is slowly finding out about the Big DV. He centered fellow countrymen Yegor Chinakhov and Kirill Marchenko at Thursday's practice and it appears he'll be the Blue Jackets second line center Friday night. So far, Voronkov has excelled in nearly everything he's been challenged to do, so if that trend continues — will Adam Fantilli have some competition for the Blue Jackets rookie of the year competition?
- Can the team play a full 60 minutes? Can they hold a lead? If they can do one of those, they're... fine. When they learn how to do both? Just picture a bunch of fire emojis in place of this sentence. Here's a fun did-you-know: the Blue Jackets have won seven games this year. If they were able to hold a lead in every game they had a lead, they would have 18 wins. They would lead the league in wins, lead the league in points, and be the darlings of the hockey world. Now look, I know: everyone's record would be better if they could hold leads. But what if I told you that in that example, I only counted leads that the Blue Jackets had in the second period or later. And what if I told you, that if the Blue Jackets picked up two points in every game they had a lead in with less than five minutes left in the game, they would have six more points than they do and be just one point out of a wildcard spot?
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
Lines are based on most recent practice/game, injury updates, and club news.