Tonight is the home opener for John Tortorella as the Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Winnipeg Jets. There are a couple of questions surrounding the Jackets tonight after last nights lost to Washington. Are they back to they played at the start of the year? Are there going to be any surprise healthy scratches? Is there really tension between Torts and Ryan Johansen?
This is also the first time these teams face each other. Last season, Winnipeg got into the playoffs and got sweeped by the Anaheim Ducks. The Jets are still in the process of bringing in young players like Nic Petan and Nikoaj Ehlers, and letting veterans like Jiri Tlusty and Lee Stempinak walk. This summer, they picked up two players who know a lot about central Ohio- Jack Roslovic (a Columbus native) and Kyle Connor (who played with the Youngstown Phantoms). The Jets also have question makes in goaltending as neither Michael Hutchinson or Ondrej Pavelec have grabbed the no. 1 job.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Dubinsky - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner - William Karlsson - Matt Calvert
Rene Bourque - Gregory Campbell - David Clarkson
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout
Cody Goloubef - Ryan Murray
Injured: Brandon Saad (illness)
Scratched: Jared Boll, Kevin Connauton
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perreault – Mark Scheifele – Nikolaj Ehlers
Alexander Burmistrov – Adam Lowry – Drew Stafford
Nic Petan – Andrew Copp - Chris Thorburn
Toby Enstrom – Dustin Byfuglien
Ben Chiarot – Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart – Jacob Trouba
Scratched: Adam Pardy, Anthony Peluso, Paul Postma
Injured: Grant Clitsome (back)
Things to Watch
1. Offense- both teams have loads of offense and not the greatest defenses in the league.
2. Ehlers- a young Swiss superstar who is taking Winnipeg by storm. He had played really well with Mathieu Perrault and Alex Burmistrov.
3. Ryan Johansen- he and Torts need to put their differences aside and what better way for Joey to prove his worth than performing well in front of the home fans of Nationwide Arena.
Happy Halloween. Enjoy the games tonight. More to come...