Morning Skate: The Minnesota Wild Come To Nationwide Arena For A Post All-Star Tussle Against The Blue Jackets

By Sam Blazer on January 30, 2018 at 12:37 pm
Jack Johnson tries to skate past Matt Dumba
Russell LaBounty-USA Today Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets come back from the all-star break with a stiff test against a hungry Minnesota Wild team. Near the bottom of the Central Division, the Wild are scratching and clawing their way, hoping to make it into the postseason.

The Blue Jackets will get reinforcements with center Brandon Dubinsky returning to the lineup since being injured.

The Wild will be without Nine Niederreiter for his seventh straight game. Considered one of the best defensive forwards in the league, the Blue Jackets will catch a break.

VIDEO: John Tortorella
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
# Player Stats # Player Stats # Player Stats
9 Artemi Panarin 49 GP, 12-27-39 18 Pierre-Luc Dubois 49 GP, 10-12-22 77 Josh Anderson 47 GP, 15-10-25
71 Nick Foligno 49 GP, 9-12-21 10 Alexander Wennberg 35 GP, 5-14-19 13 Cam Atkinson 33 GP, 7-7-14
11 Matt Calvert 37 GP, 6-9-15 17 Brandon Dubinsky 31 GP, 3-9-12 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand 49 GP, 8-18-26
38 Boone Jenner 42 GP, 4-8-12 45 Lukas Sedlak 36 GP, 4-3-7 36 Jussi Jokinen 3 GP, 0-0-0
Defensive Pairs
# Player Stats # Player Stats
8 Zach Werenski 45 GP, 11-11-22 3 Seth Jones 49 GP, 8-24-32
7 Jack Johnson 49 GP, 2-5-7 65 Markus Nutivaara 42 GP, 3-13-16
46 Dean Kukan 1 GP, 0-0-0 65 David Savard 48 GP, 2-6-8
# Player GS W-L-OL GAA SV% SO
72 Sergei Bobrovsky 40 22-15-3 2.46 .920 4
70 Joonas Korpisalo 9 5-4-0 2.85 .912 0
Three Storylines
  • Return of Dubinsky:  The return of center Brandon Dubinsky is good news. Whatever you think of the player, he brings it every night he is in the lineup. Moving other players down the lineup, it is easy to see why the team looks so much better with him as a part of it. Whether or not he has a slow start shouldn't be the worry, look at what the second and fourth lines now do as a result of the shakeup.  
  • Where Are You Bjorkstrand?: Pointless in eight games since he went off for two goals against the Dallas Stars, Bjorkstrand needs to find himself again offensively. The morning skate indicates that he will play with Dubinsky and Calvert. Playing with two tenacious players, Bjorkstrand is going to be in the middle of a lot of plays. The team needs his contributions during the stretch run to ensure a playoff bid. 
  • Pedal to the Medal:  The Minnesota Wild are not a good road team they are 9-14-1 away from the Xcel Center. The Blue Jackets are facing them while they have a couple of injuries nagging them. As the Blue Jackets continue to get healthy, these are the important points. Putting the team away before they even have a chance is a good first step.

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