Game Preview (Preseason #6): Blue Jackets Will Dress an "Audition Lineup" Against the St. Louis Blues

By Sam Blazer on September 25, 2017 at 9:43 pm
Joonas Korpisalo
Joe Maiorana - USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jackets vs. Blues

7 p.m., Nationwide Arena

TV/Stream:, Fox Sports Go app

The Columbus Blue Jackets face off against the St. Louis Blues again and ice a compelling lineup packed with fringe players. Names like Tyler Motte, Sonny Milano and Pierre-Luc Dubois pepper the lineup in what could be their last chance to make an impression on management and the coaching staff.

Dubois will be playing on the left wing once again and will see time with NHLer Lukas Sedlak as his centerman. Milano will play on a first line with Calvin Thurkauf and Vitaly Abramov. For Thurkauf and Abramov, this is likely the last time we see them play this preseason unless they have strong showings against the Blues.

John Tortorella has said the Blue Jackets will make significant cuts in the wake of Tuesday's game and should be close to their opening night lineup by the end of the week. For several players, this game is a big one.


According to the club, the Blue Jackets likely will align accordingly:

Left wing center right wing
Sonny Milano Calvin Thurkauf Vitaly Abramov
Pierre-Luc Dubois Lukas Sedlak Oliver Bjorkstrand
Matt Calvert Justin Scott Tyler Motte
Markus Hannikainen John Mitchell Nick Moutrey
Ryan Murray David Savard
Dean Kukan Markus Nutivaara
Scott Harrington Gabriel Carlsson


Joonas Korpisalo/Sergei Bobrovsky

What to Watch For

An informal viewing guide, if you will, for Tuesday's game:

  • Give it your best shot: The entirety of the Blue Jackets defensive pairings, save for David Savard, is players competing for the bottom pairing spots. Ryan Murray feels like a virtual lock given his prior experience but it leaves players like Scott Harrington, Gabriel Carlsson and Markus Nutivaara in an open competition. Could a dark horse like Dean Kukan emerge if no one, in particular, stands out? Harrington has been strong in camp so far.
  • What can Hannikainen do? The left wing has seen most of his ice time down on the fourth line or on the penalty kill. Those are likely spots if he were to make the team but he has yet to impress comparatively to players in camp. Playing with PTO signee John Mitchell and AHLer Nick Moutrey, Hannikainen will have to make a big impression for him to stick with the team past this week.
  • Goalies getting down to business: Joonas Korpisalo and Sergei Bobrovsky are going to be the netminders dressing against the Blues. Korpisalo is coming off of an impressive 52-save outing against the Blackhawks and Bobrovsky had a shaky performance against the Predators. No goalie controversy is coming, but the two will use these final games to hone their game and get ready for Oct. 6. ​

Follow 1st Ohio BatteryFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube