Game Preview: Blue Jackets Hope To String Together Back-to-Back Wins Against Struggling Predators

By Sam Blazer on February 20, 2021 at 7:18 am
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins (90) and left wing Nick Foligno (71) celebrate the win after the game against the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty - USA Today Sports
Carolina Hurricanes
6-10-0 (12 points)

7:00 P.M. – SATURDAY, FEB. 20


Just win, baby. 

The Blue Jackets have won by out scoring their opponents and they have done so by trying to keep up their opponents. In their most recent game against the Predators, they ground them into a pulp.

Sure, the Predators outshot them but chances were kept to the outside and the Blue Jackets were able to be opportunistic because of it.

Now comes the part that the Blue Jackets need to monitor. Is this at all repeatable? Getting outshot on a night in and night out basis? No. They need better process but are they back to a brand of hockey where they can grind their opponents down and win with strong team defense and goaltending? 

It has only been one game where they were able to do it but it could be a sign of things to come.

Columbus Blue Jackets Projected Lines

29 Patrik Laine 96 Jack Roslovic 13  Cam Atkinson
25 Mikhail Grigorenko 11 Kevin Stenlund 28  Oliver Bjorkstrand
52 Emil Bemstrom 71 Nick Foligno 38 Boone Jenner
50  Eric Robinson 20 Riley Nash 16 Max Domi
44 Vladislav Gavrikov 3 Seth Jones
4 Scott Harrington 53 Gabriel Carlsson
15 Michael Del Zotto 2 Andrew Peeke
Goalie Backup
90 Elvis Merzlikins 70 Joonas Korpisalo


  • ELVIS AGAIN: After a shutout, will the Blue Jackets go back to the hot hand in Elvis Merzlikins? Joonas Korpisalo has performed admirably this year behind a porous defense. But now John Tortorella needs to make a decision about the two. It would only make sense to give the net to the Latvian netminder and let him play till he falters.
  • INJURIES STACKING UP: The Blue Jackets so far have been able to avoid the injury bug somewhat. They haven't had a lot of players miss time and it now looks like they have a few players on the sidelines. David Savard, Alexandre Texier and Zach Werenski all did not participate in the Friday morning skate. The Blue Jackets have some depth but if it goes any deeper they could have some issues.
  • STAY HOT, CAM: Nothing is better than when a goalscorer is on a roll. Cam Atkinson is on a roll right now having scored goals in five straight games. His most recent one was a tad fluky but they count all the same. It will be interesting to see if he can reach a franchise mark and keep the goals coming.  

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