The Jackets are finishing another back-to-back series at home tonight against the Nashville Predators. The Predators are a very offensive team with the coaching system they have in place, and as a result are one of the best teams in the division. As for the Jackets, they are still rebounding from a poor start and are getting better under John Tortorella.
This is the first time these teams are meeting in the regular season, and as I do normally, I will be discussing the Preds' acquisitions. They got rid of players with sizable salary for a budget team in Matt Cullen (PIT) Viktor Stalberg (NYR), and Anton Volchkenov. The Predators also dealt Magnus Helleberg to the Rangers. They acquired Max Reinhart in a trade with Calgary; and also brought in Cody Hodgson and Barrett Jackman.
The Jackets' lineups seems to be the same, for the exception of goaltending. Sergei Bobrovsky appears to be getting the go tonight.
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 – Josh Anderson
Jack Johnson – David Savard
Ryan Murray – Cody Goloubef
Kevin Connauton – Fedor Tyutin
Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (elbow), David Clarkson (back), Jared Boll (foot), Alexander Wennberg (lower body).
Scratched: Michael Chaput, Dalton Prout.
Filip Forsberg – Mike Ribeiro – Craig Smith
Colin Wilson – Mike Fisher – James Neal
Miikka Salomaki – Calle Jarnkrok – Cody Hodgson
Gabriel Bourque – Colton Sissons – Austin Watson
Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm – Ryan Ellis
Barret Jackman – Seth Jones
Injured: Eric Nystrom (upper body), Paul Gaustad (lower body)
Scratched: Victor Bartley, Anthony Bitetto
Players to Watch
1. Scott Hartnell. With Columbus playing the team Hartnell was drafted by, expect him to perform in front of this matchup. Plus, he's been one of the Jackets' best performers night in and night out this season.
2. Seth Jones. Jones is a very talented defensemen who seems to be very underrated in Nashville because of all the depth they have on the backend. He was projected to go first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, but three teams passed on him. Now, he's on a team that has developed plenty of successful defensive talent in the likes of Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Kevin Klien, Mattais Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, and Roman Josi. You can add him and expect him to be a threat tonight.
Enjoy the games tonight. More to come...