In a quest for their first win of the young regular season, the Columbus Blue Jackets will try to do so at home against the New York Islanders.
The Jackets are going with a different lineup for the third straight game. Alex Wennberg is back in the lineup after suffering a concussion on the first game of the season. Rene Borque is also expected to be in after being a late healthy scratch on Saturday. Kerby Rychel was assigned to Lake Erie (AHL), and Cam Atkinson is surprisingly expected to be a healthy scratch tonight. The Jackets are still going with Curtis McElhinney, who has let in less goals than Sergei Bobrovsky. Also, Boone Jenner is on the top line and Brandon Saad is on the top line in an attempt to balance scoring in the top two lines. Also, Alex Wennberg is being rushed into the second line with Saad which is another young duo there, if anything good results. Brandon Dubinsky is on the third line (probably) because of his play Saturday.
As for their opponents, the Jackets are seeing a younger Isles team than last. Michael Grabner, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Michael Neuvrith are gone, but they have acquired a good quality of depth players- Taylor Beck, Thomas Greiss, Matt Finn, JF Beurbe, Steve Bernier, and Marek Zidlicky.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell – Alexander Wennberg – Brandon Saad
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – David Clarkson
Rene Bourque - Gregory Campbell – William Karlsson
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout
Cody Goloubef - Ryan Murray
Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Cam Atkinson, Jared Boll
Injured: Josh Anderson (eye)
New York Islanders
Anders Lee - John Tavares - Ryan Strome
Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Nikolay Kulemin - Mikhail Grabovski - Brock Nelson
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey - Marek Zidlicky
Injured: Eric Boulton (lower body)
Scratched: Brian Strait, Steve Bernier, Jean-Francois Berube
Things to Watch:
1. Hunger. After starting the season 0-6-0, the Jackets are the only team in the league without a point. What better night to earn points than in a new arena?
2. Alex Wennberg. After missing the past few games with a concussion, look to see him try to help the Blue Jackets win.
3. Brock Nelson. Nelson had a long summer with no contract and got a short term deal as a result. Expect him to try to prove his worth for a larger contract soon.
4. The Number One Centers- Ryan Johansen v John Tavares. Predictable Matchup but it is worth the hype because they are (close to the) top players in their organizations. Also, these two are very underpaid players for the production they put in. Let's see how they do tonight.
5. Pressure- Will Columbus Blue Jackets finally eliminate the elephant in the room tonight? Will their Todd Richards right the ship? We will see.
Enjoy the games tonight. More to come...
Update (7:40 pm ET)
- Tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer Night in Columbus.
-Former Columbus Blue Jacket Curtis Glencross surprisingly announced his retirement from hockey at the age of 32. Glencross signed as an UFA with Anahiem in 2007. He has also played with Columbus, Edmonton, and split his final season with Calgary and Washington. Best of luck Curtis.
More to come...