Ready for some late-night hockey, folks?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are asking you to stay up late with them on a Monday night, as they take on the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, with the puck drop scheduled for 10:30 PM.
|LOS ANGELES KINGS|
17–22–4 (38 points)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
10:30 P.M. – MONDAY, JANUARY 6
LOS ANGELES, CA
FOX SPORTS OHIO
FOX SPORTS GO
They're actually asking you to do that all of this week, as they kick off their road trip out west with the Kings tonight, then the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights, all games beginning after 10:00 PM ET.
Thankfully, it's not as daunting as a trip as it used to be out west when the Kings, Sharks and Ducks were all heavyweight playoff contenders for much of the 2010s. Those three have all sunken a fair amount in the last few seasons (and have a combined 52-63-12 this year), but the Knights being added onto this trip is no oversight (24-15-6).
The Blue Jackets make this trip just coming off of their 12-game point streak being snapped (by the Sharks, in Columbus, though) and look to begin a new stretch of victories. Can they continue to work some magic with ten-plus regulars out of the lineup and their starting goaltender still injured?
Here's a look at tonight's projected lines for the Blue Jackets:
Projected Starter: Merzlikins
- Streaking Round 2? The Blue Jackets just ripped off the third-best point streak in their franchise history, with one of the most depleted rosters they've ever had. While the goal is ultimately to win as many games as possible and therefore winning streaks are good, the team shouldn't get caught up in replicating those 12-games. Take it one game at a time, and don't look to the next one until the previous buzzer sounds, or you're at risk of missing the contest right in front of you.
- Elvis Getting Reps. Elvis Merzlikins is only starting four games in a row because Joonas Korpisalo is injured, and while we hate that as the reasoning, it's a nice opportunity for the rookie goaltender to gets some consistent play in that he wouldn't otherwise get. Merzlikins allowed three goals in Saturday's game against the Sharks, but the team in front of him seemed tired and depleted. Let's hope the Columbus defense can lock down chances in front of him and continue to give him quality experience between the pipes.
- Werenski Staying Hot. Zach Werenski is lighting the lamp for the Blue Jackets like he's never done before. He's up to 13 goals on the season, just three ginos shy of the club record of 16 (which he set), and has five in his last three games. He's on pace for 23 on the season which would obliterate the record, and it's coming at a good time with a banged-up scoring front for Columbus.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery