Jackets Journal: December 21

Sanford and Wisniewski back on the ice, as team travels to Nashville

Wednesday, 12.21.2011 / 5:25 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

For the first time in a while, the Blue Jackets will head to Nashville today with fond memories of their last trip to Bridgestone Arena.

They worked hard on their special teams during an hour-plus long practice session this morning at the Ohio Health Ice Haus, trying to improve a power play and penalty kill unit that has struggled for much of the season.

Before we go into more detail about today’s happenings around the rink, let’s take a look at how the Blue Jackets lined up…

FORWARDS
Nash – Brassard – Umberger
Prospal – Carter – Letestu
Vermette – Pahlsson – Dorsett
MacKenzie – Johansen – Boll

DEFENSE
Tyutin – Nikitin
Methot – Wisniewski
Moore – Clitsome

GOALTENDERS
Mason
Sanford

Those are the line combinations used in Sunday’s game against the Blues and in practice yesterday, so it’s safe to assume coach Scott Arniel will use those combinations (or something close) tomorrow vs. the Predators.

A HUNGRY OPPONENT
Nashville dropped a 4-1 decision to the Washington Capitals last night at Verizon Center, and Predators coach Barry Trotz was not pleased with his team’s start. This quote comes from Joshua Cooper of the Tennessean:

“In the first period, we lost a couple of one-on-one battles and they scored. They came out with a lot of purpose and a lot of jump and had us on our heels.”

Arniel said he knows the Blue Jackets will be facing a hungry opponent in Nashville, and one that has played very well of late. Prior to the loss in Washington, the Predators had won their last five games.

“The big area with them is they’re going to play all their lines,” Arniel said. “They’re a team that’s pretty resilient when it comes to their pressure – it happens in the offensive zone, it happens in the d-zone and the neutral zone. They’re always hounding you, so your execution has to be good and your ‘battle’ has to be very good.

“They finish all their checks and they grind you out in that building. Especially when they get behind that crowd of theirs; they’re hard to play against. It’s not going to be an easy game. We have to be prepared to work for it.”

Curtis Sanford

BACK ON THE ICE
As mentioned in the lineup above, goaltender Curtis Sanford returned to practice today after sitting out Sunday’s game and yesterday’s practice. Arniel deemed him ready to go if he’s called upon, and said there were no issues today but was also going to meet with team medical personnel.

Arniel, on Sanford: “Good to go. I’ll talk to the docs here and make sure everything’s good, and make a decision later tonight or tomorrow morning (on who starts in Nashville).”

Defenseman James Wisniewski also practiced today and is expected to play tomorrow night.

And on Wisniewski: “He looked fine out there, he was moving alright. More than anything, yesterday was just giving him a chance to get close to 100 percent.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 3 3 1 1 4
B. Dubinsky 3 0 4 0 4
M. Calvert 3 2 1 3 3
R. Johansen 3 1 2 0 3
B. Jenner 3 1 2 -1 3
D. Savard 3 0 3 1 3
C. Atkinson 3 1 1 1 2
D. MacKenzie 3 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 3 1 0 0 1
J. Skille 3 0 1 -1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 2 0 .904 3.32
 
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