Game Preview: The Blue Jackets Return Home, Seeking a Win Against the St. Louis Blues

By Paul Berthelot on February 2, 2019 at 7:10 am
Pierre-Luc Dubois looks on as Artemi Panarin plays the puck

Terrence Lee – USA TODAY Sports

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The Blue Jackets are in the midst of their worst stretch of the season.

They have lost four consecutive games, and with each loss, there's more and more chatter about Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Panarin doesn’t seem to be letting all the rumors get to him, he has points in three straight games including two multi-point games. It’s been another story for Bobrovsky; he played well in the loss to Minnesota, but he’s been in net for three of these four losses and has an .879 save percentage. If he keeps playing like this, he won’t need to worry about any trade rumors.

The task doesn’t get any easier tonight as Columbus welcomes the St. Louis Blues to town. The Blues, on paper, are a talented team but have severely underperformed this season. They sit three points out of a wild card spot, but have to leapfrog three teams to get there.

The Blue Jackets desperately need a win here and their play should reflect that.

PROJECTED LINES:

Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson

Foligno – Wennberg – Anderson

Bjorkstrand – Sedlak – Duclair

Hannikainen – Dubinsky – Nash

DEFENSEMEN:

Werenski – Jones

Murray – Nutivaara

Harrington – Savard

GOALTENDER:

Bobrovsky

Storylines:

  • This losing streak has dropped the Blue Jackets out of the top three in the Metro and into the second Wild Card spot. The Blues have some talented players, but this is a game Columbus can and should win. Anything but two points will be a disappointment. The team needs to come out strong and set the tone right away on home ice.
  • As of this writing, there has been no news with regard to Cam Atkinson. He missed Thursday's game in Winnipeg after taking a puck to the face in warm-ups and needed four stitches. His status is a huge storyline. Having him out for any period of time is a major loss as you can’t just replace a player of his caliber. Getting him back is a big boost in every aspect for the team.

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