Morning Skate: Blue Jackets Face Tough Test At Nationwide Arena Against the New Jersey Devils

By Sam Blazer on February 10, 2018 at 4:04 pm
Pierre-Luc Dubois faces the Devils defense looking for an opening

Russel LaBounty – USA TODAY Sports

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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
Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
Forwards
# Player Stats # Player Stats # Player Stats
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
Defensive Pairs
# Player Stats # Player Stats
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
Goaltenders
# Player GS W-L-OL GAA SV% SO
72 Sergei Bobrovsky 42 22-18-4 2.51 .918 4
70 Joonas Korpisalo 10 5-5-0 2.97 .910 0
Three Storylines
  • 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.

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