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GameThread: Columbus Blue Jackets at Edmonton Oilers

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Columbus has 16 points in their last 10 games and is closing down on 8th.

Frederick Breedon

Game preview: Columbus is a pretty bad team, all things considered, but when a goalie plays like he's a modern day Tretiak, it covers a bunch of ills. Columbus is one of the few teams worse than the Oilers at even strength, but Columbus has taken it to the Oilers at evens this season.

Team Reports

Oilers Report: Here's a shocking development: the Oilers are thing at centre! Ryan Smyth is back on the 4th line between Meat Popsicle and Lennart Petrell.

Blue Jackets Report: I had spaghetti for dinner, and Jack Johnson is back in the lineup. Spaghettification coming.

Expected Line Combinations

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Magnus Paajarvi - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Jones - Shawn Horcoff - Nail Yakupov
Mike Brown - Ryan Smyth - Lennart Petrell

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz
Mark Fistric - Corey Potter

Nikolai Khabibulin

Scratches: Mark Fistric, Ryan Whitney

Broadcast Information

Rexall Place, 7:30 pm MST
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED

By The Numbers

I've mentioned this previously, but Todd Richards is putting Jack Johnson out against the toughs and starting him in the defensive zone.

The Blue Jackets chance at having a special draft has been ruined by everyone. At one point they were set to draft #2, #5, #10. Now they're set to draft #11, #15 and #22.

  • One big win for Scott Howson in his tenure in Columbus was the Rick Nash trade. Artem Anisimov is close to Rick Nash's level straight up. Anisimov has a 41.5% offensive zone start and is playing the toughest comp available, but is breaking even after adjusting for zone starts.
  • Edmonton has the 4th-best special teams in the league, Columbus ranks 19th.