The Columbus Blue Jackets (24-15-3) will meet the Nashville Predators (26-15-3) tonight at Nationwide Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:00 PM ET.
Considering these two teams meet only twice a year these days, this matchup seemingly always brings up the recollection that a pretty major trade went down between the two clubs a few years ago.
On January 6, 2016, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded Ryan Johansen to the Nashville Predators in return for defenseman Seth Jones.
The Jackets have catapulted into a perennial 100-point team since that deal, and the Predators are, well, still really good.
Seth Jones will be representing the Metropolitan Division in the All-Star Game for the second year in a row (was injured last year but it still counts). Despite leading his team in points, Ryan Johansen was not elected to the Central Division squad this season.
That’s just one storyline for the game tonight between the Jackets and Preds. Here are some other notes to get you ready for the contest:
- The Blue Jackets have alternated wins and losses in their last six games, coming off a shutout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, who hold the best record in the National Hockey League.
- The Predators, who come to Columbus after also playing last night in Chicago against the Blackhawks, are playing their sixth game of seven straight on the road.
- The CBJ power play has been awful all year, but they’ve dropped to a new level of dismal lately. Their last power play goal came 11 games ago on December 13 – failing to convert on each of their last 26 opportunities.
- After scoring 13 goals in 11 games at one point earlier this season, Cam Atkinson has cooled off recently, scoring just one goal in his last six contests.
The Jackets have been searching for consistency since Christmas. After getting shutout by the best team in the East, the CBJ face one of the best in the West tonight. A full, 60-minute effort will be needed if the Jackets are going to come away victorious.