The Columbus Blue Jackets are on their longest losing streak of the season and hope to break that streak tonight on the road.
29–23–7 (65 points)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
8 P.M. – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22
FOX SPORTS OHIO
FOX SPORTS GO
The Jackets have had a day to rest, recuperate and hopefully talk about how to play better tonight, while the Predators played last night in Chicago and come into tonight's match-up with a bad night's sleep and a bad taste in their mouth due to the overtime loss last night.
The Blue Jackets started strong against the Flyers but fell off towards the end of the game and tonight they will look to learn from that mistake and play a full 60 minutes of hockey because that is what it will take to beat the Predators. If Columbus takes its foot off the gas at any point tonight, the puck could end up in the back of the net.
When the Jackets meet up with the Predators they will see a familiar face in Matt Duchene. Duchene has had a down season along with the rest of the team, but they are 2-2-1 in their past five games and with a playoff spot on the line, Columbus cannot afford any more missteps. This is a beatable team, that needs to be beaten.
Here's a look at tonight's projected lines for the Blue Jackets:
- ANOTHER LOSS. The Jackets are now on a seven-game losing streak and now Oliver Bjorkstrand is out for the next 8-10 weeks sliding into the boards awkwardly at the end of the third on Thursday. Bjorkstrand was an important player for the club recently and his loss will hurt.
- COMMUNICATION. The Jackets have had too many bad defensive breakdowns and part of that could be due to new pairings that have not played together much, but most of it is down to communication. Both players must continually talk to each other so they are on the same page and when that communication stops, breakdowns happen.
- TOES. The Jackets are struggling to hold onto leads during this losing streak and it is because they tend to fall into a defensive shell. While it may seem counterintuitive, the Jackets need to keep attacking and stay on their toes because falling back on their heels and allowing the other team to dictate the play can have devastating consequences.