Morning Skate: Blue Jackets Hope To Keep Pedal To The Medal Against Cellar Dweller Buffalo Sabres

By Sam Blazer on January 11, 2018 at 12:32 pm
Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella watches his team's game intently

Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

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The Columbus Blue Jackets will take on the Buffalo Sabres as the two teams head in different directions. The Sabres are once again going to be cellar dwellers but nonetheless are chock full of talent.

On the front end of a back-to-back, the Blue Jackets will be faced with a difficult choice at goaltender. Do they start Joonas Korpisalo against the Sabres or on Friday against the Vancouver Canucks at home?

It appears that in-fighting during practice has made Buffalo a testy place. Add that to the fact that defenseman Zach Bogosian went down with an injury in practice. The team is as volatile as ever. 

VIDEO: John Tortorella
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
Forwards
# Player Stats # Player Stats # Player Stats
9 Artemi Panarin 44 GP, 11-25-36 18 Pierre-Luc Dubois 44 GP, 10-12-22 77 Josh Anderson 42 GP, 14-10-24
14 Jordan Schroeder 16 GP, 0-1-1 10 Alexander Wennberg 30 GP, 4-12-16 71 Nick Foligno 44 GP, 9-7-16
11 Matt Calvert 32 GP, 4-9-13 38 Boone Jenner 37 GP, 4-8-12 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand 44 GP, 8-18-26
64 Tyler Motte 27 GP, 3-1-4 45 Lukas Sedlak 31 GP, 4-3-7 37 Markus Hannikainen 25 GP, 2-2-4
Defensive Pairs
# Player Stats # Player Stats
8 Zach Werenski 40 GP, 11-9-20 3 Seth Jones 44 GP, 7-21-28
65 Markus Nutivaara 37 GP, 2-13-15 58 David Savard 43 GP, 2-6-8
4 Scott Harrington 22 GP, 1-1-2 7 Jack Johnson 44 GP, 2-5-7
Goaltenders
# Player GS W-L-OL GAA SV% SO
72 Sergei Bobrovsky 36 21-12-3 2.40 .922 4
70 Joonas Korpisalo 8 4-4-0 3.10 .904 0
Three Storylines
  • Eye On Eichel:  The criticism around the Buffalo Sabres is the lack of players around their star player Jack Eichel. He is one of the most exciting players in the game but week in and week out the Sabres continue to lose. The American center nonetheless is a player to look out for and will hurt the Blue Jackets if the team backs off him defensively.
  • Picking Up Points: Partially a godsend and partially hell on earth, the Blue Jackets face two of the worst teams in the league on back-to-back nights. Back-to-back's aren't easy. The way they manage this before a long break will make it an even more interesting game. Are they going to fiddle with the goaltenders starting schedule? Could a formerly injured player only play one game of the back-to-back?
  • Wenn He Returns: Alexander Wennberg has been activated off of injured reserve and expects to play against the Buffalo Sabres. He was projected to be out for four to six weeks but it appears that he will only come back after missing eight games. The Swedish forward will give the team a boost but is he returning too quickly?

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