The Columbus Blue Jackets (32-11-4) will head south for a matchup with the Nashville Predators (23-17-8) this evening. The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 8:00 PM ET.
Here are 10 things you should know before the puck drops:
- Center Ryan Johansen has eight goals, 28 assists and 36 points through 48 games for the Predators this season. He’s on pace for 14 goals, 48 assists and 62 points in an 82-game season. His career highs (except for assists which occurred last season) happened as player on the CBJ (was traded midseason in the previous campaign); including 33 goals, 46 assists and 71 points.
- The Jackets and Preds have split their last ten meetings, with each team holding a record of 5-5-0.
- Cam Atkinson was recently named to the All-Star lineup. He’s leading the club in both points (46) and goals (24).
- Columbus has faced all but four teams in the National Hockey League to date this season. After tonight the list will be cut to three (Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, and the Toronto Maple Leafs).
- If you’re in the group that’s noticed the Blue Jackets have seemingly struggled most in the second period of hockey games, then you’re onto something. The second period is the only one when the CBJ have been outshot by their opponents (528-472 to be exact). It’s also the lowest-scoring period for the Jackets and the highest-scoring period for the opposition as a whole this season.
- Defenseman Seth Jones (who was traded from Nashville to Columbus for Ryan Johansen last season) has scored seven goals already this season. His career high is eight. He’s also going to play in the All-Star game for the first time in his young career over the weekend.
- The Preds have been moving up in the standings in their last eight games, with a record of 6-1-1.
- The same can’t be said for the Jackets, who’ve gone 4-3-1 over the same span.
- Columbus hasn’t been so hot on the road lately, going 2-4-0 in their last six games after going 12-2-3 through their first 17 games away from Nationwide Arena.
- The Nashville Predators currently sit at third in the Central Division and are trying to make it three-straight trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t been able to put a nice string of victories together since their 16-game winning streak. A win over the Nashville Predators tonight would provide a confidence boost for the team as it heads into the short break over the weekend.