The Blue Jackets just can't seem to buy one right now.
|ST. LOUIS BLUES|
12–3–4 (28 points)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7 P.M. – FRIDAY, NOV. 15
FOX SPORTS OHIO
FOX SPORTS GO
And it's been that way for quite a while.
Those goal-scoring issues and goaltending questions raised by many prior to the season have been pretty spot-on, and despite John Tortorella's best efforts to change things up, shuffle some guys in and out of the lineup, etc., they're still in a space where squeezing two goals out of them feels like a win.
If they have any hopes of getting to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that's got to change. And fast.
Columbus is back home tonight after a 1-1-1 trip through Arizona, Colorado and Montreal, a trip that had some encouraging moments and also some familiar refrains. One of those was another outburst from goaltender Joonas Korpisalo which earned him a night off in Montreal – and after Elvis Merzlikins played well in a 3-2 OT loss, it's fair to wonder whether Tortorella will give the rookie another start.
Tortorella was effusive in his praise of Merzlikins on his Wednesday radio hit on 97.1 FM, saying he looks completely different than he did earlier in the season and is playing with a lot more confidence. While at the same time, Korpisalo has been struggling, and this is one of the reasons the Blue Jackets opted to carry two young goaltenders who can push each other.
Here's a look at tonight's projected lines for the Blue Jackets:
- Quick start. The Blue Jackets have struggled on home ice this season and they've had a couple of days between games. They'll need to jump on the Blues early and set the tone, much like they tried to do Tuesday in Montreal.
- The power play. We have to bring it up. Because it continues to be a problem. The Blue Jackets were characteristically brutal in a 4-on-3 overtime power play on Tuesday and it cost them a real chance to win the game. Might they bust out something different tonight?
- Roll 'em. Tortorella had to like what he saw from the fourth line on Tuesday, giving him four capable units to send over the boards at any time. The Blue Jackets might need to be a team that uses all four regularly, and balance the minutes so their top players (many of whom are not playing well) can be deployed more selectively.