It's been 241 days since the Columbus Blue Jackets' Stanley Cup aspirations were dashed by the Boston Bruins, losing in the second round of the playoffs to the eventual Eastern conference champion 4-2.
Tonight, the Blue Jackets, nearly eight months after the series loss, will have an opportunity for retribution. The chance comes at an interesting time for the Columbus team. The club currently sports a 12-game point streak despite having an injured reserve that essentially comprises half of the team's October starting lineup.
24–7–10 (58 points)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7 P.M. – THURSDAY, JANUARY 2nd
FOX SPORTS OHIO
FOX SPORTS GO
It appears the Blue Jackets have used the injuries as an opportunity to refine their team game and play with purpose. But it will take more than attitude to beat a dominant Boston Bruins team.
The Bruins currently sit atop the Atlantic division standings and only one point back of the overall NHL lead. The Boston team has seemingly carried their impressive play from last season and the playoffs to continue success in 2019-2020.
The Boston Bruins therefore present a great challenge for the so-far resilient Blue Jackets, who must heighten their recently cohesive play even more to contest the powerful Bruins.
Here's a look at tonight's projected lines for the Blue Jackets:
- Elvis Goes for Two. Tuesday night, Elvis Merzlikins captured his first NHL in spectacular fashion. On New Year's Eve in front of a sold-out crowd for Sergie Bobrovsky's return to Nationwide Arena, Merzlikins both played well and outplayed the former Blue Jacket. The Latvian goaltender will look to continue that strong play against an offensively-gifted team tonight, looking for win number two.
- Tex Out Too. Adding to the team's long list of injured players, the Blue Jackets announced that Alexandre Texier is out indefinitely with a lumbar stress fracture. The 20 year-old French rookie has so far had an impressive first season, posting 6-7-13 in 36 games.
- Playoff Rematch. As mentioned above, these two teams met last on May 6th, 2019 for game 6 of the second round of the Stanley Cup finals. On that date, the Bruins dissolved the Blue Jackets cup aspirations with a 3-0 win in Columbus. There may remain some animosity towards the Bruins club who knocked out the Blue Jackets who hoped to be the playoffs Cinderella story.
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