Blue Jackets at Predators
8 p.m., Bridgestone Arena
The Columbus Blue Jackets head down to Nashville to take on a Predators team that will be dressing a lineup that is close to full strength.
Many players like Pierre-Luc Dubois, Sonny Milano, and Tyler Motte are trying to leave impressions on the Blue Jackets coaching staff with strong performances. Milano and Dubois have started strong this training camp. Will it continue tonight?
According to the club, the Blue Jackets likely will align accordingly:
|Left wing||center||right wing|
|Artemi Panarin||Alexander Wennberg||Cam Atkinson|
|Pierre-Luc Dubois||Nick Foligno||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Matt Calvert||Zac Dalpe||Sonny Milano|
|Tyler Motte||Lukas Sedlak||Markus Hannikainen|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||David Savard|
|Gabriel Carlsson||Ryan Murray|
Sergei Bobrovsky/Joonas Korpisalo
What to Watch For
An informal viewing guide, if you will, for Thursday's game:
- Foligno at center: This looks like a arrangement that Blue Jackets fans are going to have to get used to. Foligno once again lines up in the middle and is centering Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrand tonight. All are offensively minded players and push the puck up the ice quickly, and it could very well be a preview for opening night.
- Carlsson audition? The Blue Jackets are very high on Carlsson, which should come as a surprise to no one. He is big and lanky with good defensive instincts. He is also getting an opportunity to take over the bottom-pairing role that was once occupied by Markus Nutivaara, who is battling for a spot of his own but not in the lineup tonight. Both have done well this training camp, but it looks like Carlsson may have the edge for now.
- Unsettled business: The bottom-six of the Blue Jackets is a hodgepodge of players trying to prove themselves. The most interesting line of the bunch is Tyler Motte, Lukas Sedlak, and Markus Hannikainen; the team is very high on Sedlak and Motte was just acquired via trade this past offseason. Hainnikainen was also regularly called up last season and saw ample amounts of ice time. Impressing in a bottom-six role is tough, but these players are getting the platform.