The Columbus Blue Jackets will look to improve their 2-3-0 record at home this evening as they host the Buffalo Sabres. The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
The CBJ finally looked like the team we all thought they were on Thursday night, scoring four unanswered goals at one point in an impressive 7-4 road victory over the St. Louis Blues.
It’s the Buffalo Sabres who will be visiting Nationwide Arena tonight. The Sabres haven’t been too good the last couple of years, but they’re not a team to sleep on at the moment. Buffalo has actually won three in a row coming into this evening. Watch out for Center Jack Eichel, who’s one of the bright young (22 years old) stars in the league and is off to a nice start, with three goals and six assists through ten games. The CBJ should also be aware of Conor Sheary. The left winger has three goals this season, all of which came while on the man advantage.
While Columbus may have their hands full with a hot Buffalo squad, they should be just fine if they can put together a consistent and physical 60-minute performance similar to what we saw on Thursday night. The top line was an obvious strength for the team before the season started, but on Thursday the second and third lines did some damage as well.
Josh Anderson, Nick Foligno and Boone Jenner were not only your prototypical physical line, but brought plenty of skill to the ice as well as the second line. Foligno was confident with the puck, Anderson looked fast (adding a goal of his own) and Jenner seemed to be assertive, with a two-goal performance against the Blues.
The third line of Oliver Bjorkstrand, Alexander Wennberg and Anthony Duclair was quite effective as well. Bjorkstrand was a pleasant surprise with his showing on Thursday, getting knocked down several times but not being phased, as he battled and showed some grit. Wennberg of course is a playmaker at center with his passing abilities and Duclair is not only a speedster who can make something out of nothing, but showed he can finish as well with a two-goal effort.
While the fourth line wasn’t anything exceptional, the Jackets will have the pleasure of playing in front of the 5th line tonight: their home fans.
Will Columbus deliver some fresh home cooking, or will Buffalo snag their fourth consecutive victory? We’ll just have to wait and see.