The Columbus Blue Jackets have looked like a team who’s starting to find themselves the past three games, earning five out of a possible six points. It appears, however, the recent success may not be sustainable as injuries have piled up. Tonight the Blue Jackets will be without defensemen Ryan Murray and Zach Werenski, Centers Alexander Wennberg and Brandon Dubinsky as well as forward Cam Atkinson.
Don’t think that all the injuries will damper the hopes of the Jackets, who pushed the Pens to the brink last Thursday night in a 2-1 shootout affair that was accompanied by a total of 59 combined penalty minutes and plenty of chippy moments.
The most apparent of the “chippy” players is Ryan Reaves, a 31-year-old right winger who leads Pittsburgh in penalty minutes with 80—more than twice as many as the next-highest total in the category (Sidney Crosby with 38). In last week’s matchup between the two teams, Reaves and Lukas Sedlak of the Columbus Blue Jackets dropped the gloves at the 15:27 mark of the first period.
Columbus and Pittsburgh each reside in the Metropolitan Division, with each club having played the same amount of games (37), but it’s the Jackets who have 46 points while the Pens are sitting at 39 points respectively.
Will the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to stay hot despite the injuries on their roster, or will the Penguins take advantage of the somewhat-depleted lineup of the CBJ? We’ll just have to wait and see…