Game Preview: Blue Jackets Take One-Game Road Trip To St. Louis To Battle Blues

By Chris Pennington on October 25, 2018 at 7:10 am
Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will appear in his second regular season game of the season after being sidelined for four weeks with a sprained knee.

Billy Hurst – USA TODAY Sports

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The Blue Jackets are .500, but it sure does it feel a lot worse than that at times.

In the past two playoff appearance-producing regular seasons for the Blue Jackets, they have started off the first eight games of those seasons with a 5-2-1 record and then a 5-3-0 record. Not too far off of this season.

But this year's 4-4-0 just seems...different.

The stars aren't shining as they should. The special teams is unbearable still. And Sergei Bobrovsky is playing below-average hockey.

But when it comes down to it, a good handful of the Jackets seem to be playing disinterested hockey. After a 4-1 loss at home to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, the first legitimate alarms started sounding around the fan base and even some of the players.

We are now just about 10 percent of the way into the season, so it's not like there isn't time to right the ship. The problem may be that there isn't just one hole in the boat – but several, and more seem to keep popping up every night.

Thursday night games in St. Louis are the ones the team will look back on in April with either thankfulness or regret depending on their playoff position: every point counts. When you miss out on two against Arizona, you need to make up for it. 

Projected Lines

Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson

Milano – Wennberg – Duclair

Foligno – Jenner – Anderson

Sedlak – Nash – Bjorkstrand

Defensemen

Werenski – Jones

Murray – Nutivaara

Kukan/Harrington – Savard

Goaltender

TBD

Storylines

  • It may not be until later in the afternoon that we find out who will be in between the pipes for the Blue Jackets. Bobrovsky has objectively not been his normal regular season self after six starts. Don't be surprised if Joonas Korpisalo gets the call tonight.
  • The St. Louis Blues haven't been among the top teams in the league thus far to begin the season, but they have certainly been a challenging team for anyone to play against the past five or so seasons. While their 2-3-3 record is not what they've expected, they have one of the top power play units in the NHL at a nearly 28 percent conversion rate, and a decent penalty kill too at 82.14 percent. The Jackets may have a tough time in this realm (again). 
  • On 97.1 Radio on Wednesday, John Tortorella said that Nick Foligno, Boone Jenner and Josh Anderson would start together as a forward line. No word yet on what the rest of the lines will look like exactly. Tortorella scrambled the lines a generous amount during the Arizona game on Tuesday, and while he tries to figure out his flatlining offense, we may have to get used to this.

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