Hockey is back in the Buckeye State. Tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets are hosting the Vancouver Canucks. The Jackets are just coming off a successful California trip, where they went (2-1-0), earning a possible 4 of 6 points. Now, they are poised they get their first home victory of the season. As for the Canucks, they are currently on a three game losing streak, and are looking to snap this trend.
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This is the first time these teams are meeting this season, and the Canucks made some very interesting moves in the summer. The Canucks dealt Eddie Lack to Carolina; Kevin Bieska to Anaheim; Zach Kassian to Montréal; and Nick Bonnio and Adam Clendening to Pittsburgh. They also lost Frank Corrado to the waiver wire (TOR). They also let Brad Richardson (ARI), Shawn Matthias (TOR), and Ryan Stanton (WSH) walk to the open market. They brought in Brandon Sutter in the Bonnio swap; they acquired Brandon Prust for Kassian. Through the open market, they acquired Blair Jones, Richard Bachman, Matt Bartkowski, and ex-Jacket Adam Cracknell.
As for the Jackets, they are putting Cody Goloubef back in the lineup, and sent Kerby Rychel to the AHL. Also, Sergei Bobrovsky is back in the net after Curtis McElhinney played against the Ducks on Friday.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Scott Hartnell – Brandon Dubinsky – Brandon Saad
Boone Jenner – Ryan Johansen – Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert – William Karlsson – Cam Atkinson
Gregory Campbell – Alexander Wennberg – Jared Boll
Jack Johnson – David Savard
Fedor Tyutin – Ryan Murray
Kevin Connauton – Cody Goloubef
Scratched: Rene Bourque, Dalton Prout
Injuries: David Clarkson (IR- back)
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen
Chris Higgins - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata
Alexandre Burrows - Brandon Sutter - Sven Baertschi
Adam Cracknell - Jared McCann - Derek Dorsett
Alexander Edler - Alex Biega
Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber
Ben Hutton – Matt Bartkowski
Injured: Luca Sbisa (lower body), Brandon Prust (ankle), Christopher Tanev (upper body)
Scratched: Brendan Gaunce, Jake Virtanen
Things to Watch
1. Hot Streak- Brandon Dubinsky has been on fire since the arrival of head coach John Tortorella, having eight points in the last eight games. Will the alternate captain's steak continue at home?
2. Old v. New- Tonight is the first time since his firing that John Tortorella sees the team he used to coach- the Vancouver Canucks. Seeing what Torts knows about some of the veterans may favor Columbus.
3. The rookies. Tonight is the first time rookies Jared McCann and Ben Hutton see the cannon in Columbus. McCann was drafted 24th by the Canucks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and was the main young piece in the Ryan Kesler a couple seasons ago. As for Hutton, he was drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NHL Draft (147th overall). Let's see how these rookies perform against a small market club, or will the Canadian pressure crack them down.
Players to Watch
My players to watch tonight are two young forwards on their respective clubs. One is a British Columbia native. The other is a very underrated player who was a former first round pick.
1. Ryan Johansen. The BC native was drafted fourth overall by the Jackets in 2010. He is the team's undisputed number one center and can produce when consistent. Let's see how he performs against his hometown team.
2. Sven Baertschi. Baertschi was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks at the 2015 Trade Deadline that a 2015 second round pick to Calgary. It was a risk by the Canucks to pick him up as his development seemed to be in question, but after a summer of tough contract talks, he seems to be fitting right into the lineup in Vancouver with 6 points in 12 games this year, with 4 of those points coming in the last 5 games.
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