What a battle of opposites tonight in Columbus. The rested Blue Jackets are battling the fatigued St. Louis Blues. The Jackets are on a roll, winning two in a row. The Blues are just coming off a win against the Winnipeg Jets last night.
This is the first time these teams are meeting this season, and the Blues made a couple interesting moves in the summer. They surprsingly trade T.J. Oshie to Washington this summer; and let Barrett Jackman (NSH), Zbynek Michalek (ARI) walk, Chris Porter (MIN), and Adam Cracknell (VAN) walk. They added Troy Brouwer and Phoenix Copley from the Oshie deal; and signed Kyle Brodizak, Scottie Upshall, Scott Gomez, Jordan Caron, Danny Kistro, Peter Harrold, and Jordan Caron via unrestricted free agency. In terms of their lineup, they are still without Jaden Schwartz, Paul Statsny, and Patrick Bergulnd due to injuries. They did bring in Martin Havlat, but he asked to leave due to family reasons, so the Blues are looking at their depth.
As for the Blue Jackets, Brandon Dubisnky is our 2-3 weeks with an elbow injury, so the Jackets are continuously relying on youngsters and depth to answer the call.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Brandon Saad
Matt Calvert- Nick Foligno - Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell - William Karlsson - Rene Bourque
Kerby Rychel - Gregory Campbell – Jared Boll
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Ryan Murray - Cody Goloubef
Fedor Tyutin – Kevin Connauton
Injured: David Clarkson (back), Alexander Wennberg (foot), Brandon Dubinsky (elbow)
Scratched: Dalton Prout
St. Louis Blues
Alexander Steen - David Backes - Vladimir Tarasenko
Dmitrij Jaskin - Jori Lehtera - Troy Brouwer
Magnus Paajarvi - Scott Gomez - Robby Fabbri
Jeremy Welsh - Kyle Brodziak - Scottie Upshall
Joel Edmundson - Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester - Kevin Shattenkirk
Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko
Injured: Paul Stastny (foot), Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Steve Ott (upper body)
Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Ryan Reaves
Things to Watch
1. Speed. The Blues have killed speed, especially in youngsters like Vladimir Tarasenko, and their defensemen in Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Piterangelo. For Columbus, Cam Atkinson and other youngsters have the speed this team carries for their successes night in and night out.
2. Goaltending. Both teams have very good goaltending, and both netminders have had moments of greatness. Jake Allen has 7 wins this year, and 3 of them were shutouts. Sergei Bobrovsky has been stellar lately, and hopefully that keeps up tonight.
3. Defense. My feel is this game will come down to whichever team either scores the lucky bouncer or whoever scores the most goals comes out on top
Players to Watch
Jared Boll for playing his 500th NHL game v. Connor Parayko the rookie.
Enjoy the games tonight. More to come