Game Preview: Blue Jackets Are Primed to Take Points from the Red Wings in Saturday Matinee

By Sam Blazer on March 27, 2021 at 7:07 am
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard (58) during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
Tim Fuller - USA Today Sports
21–7–3 (45 points)

3:00 P.M. – SATURDAY, MAR. 27


It is do or die time.

The Blue Jackets got five points in four games against the Carolina Hurricanes and if they are going to make a move for a playoff spot, they're going to need to do it on this six-game road trip.

They have a back-to-back set against the Detroit Red Wings before they head down to Florida for four more games. The beginning of this trip is as winnable as it comes. Time to take advantage.

It appears no new lineup changes are coming for the Blue Jackets but there is an outside possibility that Alexandre Texier and Mikko Lehtonen may see the ice.

The offense doesn't seem to be sputtering and the defense has had the ability to clamp teams at times. Now is time to win games and stack points. 

The race is still anyone's game. It would be nice if the Blue Jackets could start getting contributions from the likes of Patrik Laine, who is on a current drought. They're going to need all hands on deck moving forward.

Here's a look at tonight's projected (and subject to change) lines for Columbus:

Columbus Blue Jackets Projected Lines

16 Max Domi 96 Jack Roslovic 13 Cam Atkinson
28 Oliver Bjorkstrand 71 Nick Foligno 29 Patrik Laine
38 Boone Jenner 20 Riley Nash 11 Kevin Stenlund
50 Eric Robinson 49 Ryan MacInnis 23 Stefan Matteau

*lines are subject to change

8 Zach Werenski 3 Seth Jones
44 Vladislav Gavrikov 58 David Savard
46 Dean Kukan 15 Michael Del Zotto
Goalie Backup
70 Joonas Korpisalo 90 Elvis Merzlikins


  • LEHTONEN TIME?: Defenseman Mikko Lehtonen who was acquired via a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs has officially been cleared to come to the US and join the team in Detroit. Most of the time they like getting a player a practice in before playing him but he could play if the team deems him fit. He would immediately add an offensive punch from the back end.
  • ICE TIME ROULETTE: It has been mentioned many times already but the line deployment by the Blue Jackets at times has been head-scratching with certain players contributing less than others while still getting plenty of ice. There is a distinct possibility that Alexandre Texier joins the lineup and if he does, carefully monitor how much he plays. They need him to be a contributor sooner than later.
  • WHO IS IN NET?: The Blue Jackets have been mostly leaning on Joonas Korpisalo but Elvis Merzlikins has shined in spurts. Are they going to still try and split the time between the two players or are they going to start riding Korpisalo until he falls apart. They have already been at that precipice and it will be interesting if they still try that strategy. 

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