The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost five straight and now, they're up against it. They've dropped out of playoff position in the Metropolitan Division. They are now going to play in as close to a must-win as they'll have this year.
They'll go up against the New Jersey Devils, who are one of the top teams in the Metropolitan. If the Blue Jackets hope to climb up the standings, they'll need to win against divisional opponents and tonight would be a great place to start.
VIDEO: John Tortorella
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 10, 2018
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
|9||Artemi Panarin||54 GP, 14-29-42||18||Pierre-Luc Dubois||54 GP, 11-13-23||13||Cam Atkinson||38 GP, 8-9-17|
|28||Oliver Bjorkstrand||54 GP, 8-19-27||10||Alexander Wennberg||40 GP, 5-15-20||71||Nick Foligno||54 GP, 10-12-22|
|38||Boone Jenner||47 GP, 5-8-13||17||Brandon Dubinsky||36 GP, 4-9-13||77||Josh Anderson||52 GP, 16-10-26|
|11||Matt Calvert||42 GP, 6-10-16||45||Lukas Sedlak||41 GP, 4-3-7||36||Jussi Jokinen||8 GP, 0-1-1|
|8||Zach Werenski||50 GP, 11-11-22||3||Seth Jones||54 GP, 8-26-34|
|7||Jack Johnson||54 GP, 2-5-7||65||Markus Nutivaara||47 GP, 3-14-17|
|46||Dean Kukan||6 GP, 0-2-2||58||David Savard||53 GP, 4-6-10|
- Bread Is Cooking: The Blue Jackets' offense begins and ends with Artemi Panarin. Adding another goal against the Washington Capitals, Panarin is the team's points leader and offensive heartbeat. They'll need that if they want to break from this rut they're in. They are pushing the play at times, but still aren't getting points in the standings. Panarin could change that.
- Please, Kill A Penalty: The Blue Jackets' penalty kill is abysmal. For a large part of the season, all of the team's special teams have been bad. Now that the power play is finding (relative) success, the penalty kill has looked lost. After allowing another power-play goal against the Capitals, they need a change. They have allowed a power-play goal in seven straight games.
- Kids and The Hall: The New Jersey Devils have been successful thanks to their young, fast players. While Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt have been surprising, Taylor Hall is the veteran and the catalyst for the team. Hall is currently on a five-game point streak; the Blue Jackets will be successful against the Devils if they can stop him.