The Columbus Blue Jackets (45-29-7) will be on the road for their regular-season finale against the Nashville Predators (52-18-11). The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 8:00 PM ET.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin, Seth Jones, Cam Atkinson and Alexander Wennberg won’t be on the ice for the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight when they face the Nashville Predators.
The game itself is set up to be somewhat of an anticlimactic end to a successful regular season for the CBJ, who have secured a spot in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
A win for the Jackets would assure them to match up with the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions (The Pittsburgh Penguins) in the first round. So, with that being known, there’s been speculation, for obvious reasons, about why so many studs won’t be playing in the game for Columbus this evening.
Long story short, Head Coach John Tortorella told the media he has some players who have been “banged up” and could use some “rest”. Also, Torts will be happy to get some players on the ice who haven’t had the playing time they’d hope for (examples include defensemen Taylor Chorney, Dean Kukan, and forward Eric Robinson, who, as reported by Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, will be making his NHL debut this evening).
When it comes to the compete level (knowing the aforementioned scenario involving the Penguins) of his team, Torts had this to say:
Once we start the game—we’re trying to win the game.
There’s a very good chance the Columbus Blue Jackets will know who they’ll be facing in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after playing 60 minutes (or more) against the Preds.