Game Preview: Blue Jackets Need to Bounce Back On the Road Against the Plucky Predators

By Sam Blazer on February 27, 2021 at 7:07 am
 Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene (95) is hit by Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) and defenseman Seth Jones (3) as he skates toward the net during the third period at Bridgestone Arena.
Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks
8-11-0 (16 points)

3:00 P.M. – SATURDAY, FEB. 27


It hasn't been pretty in Central Ohio. That may be reason enough to be happy that the Blue Jackets are on the road visiting the Nashville Predators.

After getting shutout by the Chicago Blackhawks in the previous game, the team is rudderless. Every time it looks like they are about to turn a corner they run into another roadblock.

The most recent version of the Blue Jackets saw a strong defensive performance with very little offensive bite. Now they need to find their scoring touch against the pesky Predators.

They have been able to use the power play to their advantage when they get up a man. It will be interesting to see if their power play can be a catalyst for their strong play 

With that comes expectations for Patrik Laine, Oliver Bjorkstrand and others. The defense has let the team down at times. If they are finally holding up their end of the bargain, they need to find a way to contribute.

The season is beginning to slip away from the Blue Jackets. They need to start stacking up wins and outside of the cellar dweller Red Wings, one of the easier assignments is going to be playing this Predators squad.

Columbus Blue Jackets Projected Lines

29 Patrik Laine 71 Nick Foligno 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand
38 Boone Jenner 96 Jack Roslovic 13 Cam Atkinson
50 Eric Robinson 42 Alexandre Texier 52 Emil Bemstrom
16 Max Domi 11 Kevin Stenlund 20 Riley Nash
8 Zach Werenski 3 Seth Jones
44 Vladislav Gavrikov 58 David Savard
53 Gabriel Carlsson 15 Michael Del Zotto
Goalie Backup
70 Joonas Korpisalo 80 Matiss Kivlenieks


  • CONSISTENCY?: With only one five-on-five goal in the previous game allowed, the Blue Jackets are allowed to ask whether it is a trend or a one-off. They know that they need stronger play on the back end and transition play is one of the biggest keys for them. If they can put that type of effort together, the Blue Jackets may actually have something to build on.
  • HOW LONG OF A LEASH: Patrik Laine joined the lineup and it immediately began a ticking clock for the Blue Jackets. They didn't start the season well but adding a big weapon made the immediacy of the success all the more important. They haven't completely free fallen but they are approaching that status. What comes after for a team that can't win?
  • FUN HOCKEY: It has been mentioned by John Tortorella many times that he wants to see his players play loose and remember that they're playing a game. Often times they grab their sticks tight and they lose the plot early in the game. If the team can play loose, will it really be that big of a difference? 

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