The Columbus Blue Jackets have really struggled this year, no two ways about it. They have the least points in the NHL, with 38, and have played two more games than the Boston Bruins. They're so far out of it that the Jackets come into tonight's game 10 points behind the 7th Place Team in the Metro. While it might be true that you're now quite as good as you look when you're winning and you're never quite as bad as you look when you're losing, the Blue Jackets have lost more than any team in the NHL. Columbus's goal differential is minus 35, double-digits worse than the 29th-place team in that category (the Edmonton Oilers). The challenge for the Bruins? Don't play down to the competition, don't find a way to showcase the couple things Columbus does well.
Just The Facts:
Records: Boston Bruins: 24-17-5, 53 Points, 4th in the Atlantic, 7th in the East (one game in hand on div. leaders). Columbus Blue Jackets: 17-27-4, 38 Points, 8th in the Metro, 16th in the East
Home/Away Splits, Last 10: Bruins at Home: 10-12-2 (gross). CBJ Away: 9-16-0. Both teams are 4-5-1 in the last ten games played.
Vs. Each Other: First Meeting of the year, will play each other three times in the next month.
"Enemy" SBNation Blog: The Cannon
How/When To Watch:
When: Saturday, January 23rd. 7 PM.
TV: NESN, FSW-O
Radio: 98.5 The Sport Hubs
- Blue Jackets Coach John Tortortella will probably miss this game due to an injury sustained in practice. I am not making the following anecdote up, I swear: Tortorella busted two ribs yesterday colliding with Rene Bourque. Yes, that Rene Bourque. I don't know if it's more puzzling that Torts and Bourque collided that badly in practice, or that Bourque is still in the league. Get well soon, Torts.
- Speaking of "still the league," ol' pal Gregory Campbell is in town for the first time as a Blue Jacket, and he's got the same number of goals (2) as Bourque in 21 more games. He's 2-4-6 for the season with a -5 plus-minus. Would expect some kind of tribute from the B's for him.
- The Bruins were 3-0-0 against Columbus last season, with CBJ's only consolation being an OT loss.
- Sergei Bobrovsky had returned from injury, but struggled against the Washington Capitals and then restrained his groin in a loss to the Calgary Flames. Thus, we're not sure which of Columbus's back-ups we'll get, but, again, the Bruins should win this darn game.
- Speaking of injuries, forwards Matt Calvert and Nick Foligno should be able for the Jackets after being activated from IR. David Savard was just shuffled back on IR, so Seth Jones--recently acquired from the Nashville Predators for Ryan Johansen, as you might have heard--and company should have another inexperienced D-Man subbing in. Jones, by the way, is a solid +2 with 5 Assists since the trade, and has been a promising, if still growing, possession defenseman in his young career.
- Speaking of forwards, the Blue Jackets are co-lead in points by former Flyer Scott Hartnell and former Blackhawk Brandon Saad. Both have 16 goals and 16 Assists on the season. After that it's perennially-rumored-to-be-traded Cam Atkinson (13-14-27), Boone Jenner (16-10-26), all-pro pest Brandon Dubinsky (10-15-25), and Foligno (9-16-25).
- No word as I post this on any adjustments in regard to the Bruins lines/defense pairings at the morning skate, but we'll have the lines post a little later today.
- The Bruins have a back-to-back Monday-Tuesday, so it's possible we either see Tuukka Rask tonight, and then Jonas Gustavsson in one of those games, or JG tonight and Rask on both halves of the back-to-back. Yes, this is an obvious statement. But the Bruins have played it both ways when it comes to three games in four days.