The Columbus Blue Jackets are back on the ice tonight to take on the Detroit Red Wings, in their final game in the Joe Louis Arena. The Blue Jackets history with the Red Wings has been short as they were an expansion franchise, but the Jackets do have some history at the Joe. They are 12-24-5 all time in the Joe, and they played each other so much over the years as a result of being in the same Central Division in the early 2000s. The Jackets also played their first two playoff games in franchise history in Detroit, even though they lost both games.
This final contest tonight is also very personal to Jackets’ defenseman Zach Werenski as the former Wolverine has always had a passion to play for the Wings and in the Joe as a kid. Check out his article on the NHL website! In a simple term, he is going to miss the arena as much as any big time hockey player or fan.
One month out from the trade deadline, the Red Wings sit further out of the playoff picture than they would like, opening themselves to be potential sellers for the first time in decades. Expect any veteran UFA to be on the market; plus there have been murmurs of a trade request from Tomas Jurco; and reports that the Hawks might be interested in both Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. The Wings have been able to get production out of the veteran players, but lack of success from everyone else. Goaltending has been below normal; defense has been thin; and offense has been hard to come by. It calls for disaster in Detroit. Plus, there have been plenty of injuries to this team that doesn’t help their case.
Detroit Red Wings
Gustav Nyquist – Henrik Zetterberg – Anthony Mantha
Tomas Tatar – Riley Sheahan – Dylan Larkin
Andreas Athanasiou – Darren Helm – Thomas Vanek
Tomas Jurco – Luke Glendening – Justin Abdelkader
Danny DeKeyser – Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson – Xaiver Ouellet
Brendan Smith – Nick Jensen
Scartched: Steve Ott, Ryan Sproul
Injured: Johan Franzen, Joe Vitale, Niklas Kronwall, Tyler Bertuzzi, Frans Nielsen, Jimmy Howard
Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Saad—Alex Wennberg—Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner—Brandon Dubinsky—Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert—William Karlsson—Josh Anderson
Scott Hartnell—Lukas Sedlak—Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski—Seth Jones
Jack Johnson—Ryan Murray
Scott Harrington—Markus Nutivarra
Injured: David Savard, David Clarkson
Players to Watch
Thomas Vanek. The former top five pick of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft is having a bounce back year, as the second leading point scorer with 32 points. The once called sniper is playing more of a top six forward in a more underrated role with the Wings as they have not been the team they once were.
Jack Johnson. The oldest defenseman on the active roster has had a decreased role this year with the team. The Jackets have been under 0.500 since the team’s 16 game winning streak ended, and the veteran defenseman should be looked to in order to help turn this team around.
Enjoy the games tonight…
More to come…
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