The Columbus Blue Jackets (35-28-5) will attempt to win their fourth game in a row tonight with the Detroit Red Wings (26-30-11) visiting Nationwide Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
The Columbus Blue Jackets seem to finally be back to winning on a consistent basis. Defensive stars Zach Werenski and Seth Jones are living up to the top-pairing hype with newcomers Thomas Vanek, Ian Cole and Mark Letestu all making their mark at one time or another since the trade deadline 11 days ago.
Not only that—the top line of Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson is buzzing and Columbus just won their last two games without Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes.
The mentality is as good as it’s been all year in Columbus, Ohio. Here’s some of what Defenseman Zach Werenski said about his team and how they need to look at the current standings:
We gotta stop looking at who’s behind us (Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes) and start looking at who’s in front of us (New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers), trying to catch them. We’re playing some good hockey right now and…we’re not far off the teams in front of us, so hopefully we can try and catch them.
Clearly the CBJ are bringing swagger back, and Sergei Bobrovsky reentering the lineup tonight will only continue to keep the good vibes flowing.
The Jackets will be heavily favored this evening. The Detroit Red Wings come into tonight’s matchup reeling—losers of their last five games.
However, CBJ players and the coach alike have referred to the Wings as a “fast” hockey club, with 21-year-old Center Dylan Larkin (who has 40 assists this season) right at the top of that list.
Confidence is a great thing for a hockey team, but overconfidence can be the ultimate kryptonite. The Columbus Blue Jackets need to keep their business-like approach and focus on the two points at hand this evening. If they do just that, they should be able to win their fourth consecutive game and rest easy over the weekend until their next game on Monday night.