The Columbus Blue Jackets (9-6-2) have have played more consistently lately, going 2-0-1 last week, including a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars (9-6-2) on Tuesday. The two teams will face one another again this evening. The puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 8:30 PM ET.
The CBJ have finally started to play rather consistent hockey over a span of 60 minutes, but it was a few turnovers and defensive lapses that ended up haunting them in the end in a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
The Dallas Stars have an identical record to the Jackets and also lost 5-4 in a shootout at home on Saturday night, with their defeat coming to the Nashville Predators. The Stars are 6-2-1 at home overall, and will look to get back on track while avenging a loss to Columbus last week. Watch out for Center Tyler Seguin, who has 5 goals and 17 assists on the season. If he gets hot, it could be a bad sign for the CBJ.
The Jackets have fared well on the road this season, with a record of 5-2-1. It’ll be quite interesting to see what happens with Alexander Wennberg, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Anthony Duclair. Their entire line was called out by Head Coach John Tortorella after Saturday’s loss for not being physical and their lack of checking. Duclair was also limited to 40 seconds of ice time in the third period, despite scoring a power-play goal earlier in the game. It seems Torts made somewhat of a statement as well when he started Brandon Dubinsky in overtime on Saturday, as he is a great personification a “tough”player in the league who can rattle opponents (Sydney Crosby for example).
The Columbus Blue Jackets will have their hands full in Dallas against a stars club that has plenty of talent and might still have a bitter taste from a 4-1 defeat in Columbus a week ago. However, the Jackets have been a brilliant road team for the most part, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they headed back to the 614 with two points in the bag. Let’s drop the puck already.