Game Day Central: Blue Jackets at Coyotes

Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 9:00 PM / News
By BlueJackets.com Staff

 

BLUE JACKETS AT COYOTES
THURSDAY, 9 PM
JOBING.COM ARENA

BLUE JACKETS ICE TRACKER

PHOTO GALLERY

WATCH: RJ Umberger makes it a 2-0 Jackets lead with a power play goal!

GOAL AUDIO: RJ Umberger power play goal!

This beauty and more are RIGHT HERE in our game photo gallery

WATCH: And here it is...Nathan Horton's first goal as a Blue Jacket!

SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: Well, that's certainly the best way to make your Blue Jackets debut. Horton tapped in a loose puck right in front of Mike Smith - a power play goal nonetheless - to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead late in the second period. The Blue Jackets out-shot the Coyotes 14-7 in the second period and lead 20-13 in that category overall, and they seemed to get better as the second period got older. The power play goal is a big boost, obviously, but they've played well in front of Curtis McElhinney as well. 

FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS:
Aside from Nathan Horton officially making his Blue Jackets debut, it was a rather uneventful first period at Jobing.com Arena. Columbus and Phoenix are scoreless after 20 minutes and both teams have six shots on goal, with the Blue Jackets getting a pair of power play opportunities (the second was cut short due to a Murray penalty). Overall, a defensively sound first period for the Blue Jackets who tracked well and were clean on the exits out of their own zone. The Dubinsky-Anisimov-Horton line was physical and had a strong presence in the offensive zone, but it's only the first game as a unit. 

WATCH:
Jody Shelley talking Nathan Horton's debut on NHL Live.

WATCH: Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards' pre-game press conference in Phoenix.

WATCH: Ryan Murray talks to Bob McElligott about Nathan Horton's debut and what to expect tonight against Phoenix.

ENTER TO WIN A CHANCE TO SEE NATHAN HORTON'S HOME DEBUT NEXT WEEK!


PRESS RELEASE: Bobrovsky, Horton, Prout activated

FEATURE STORY: Nathan Horton makes long-awaited debut

PRE GAME AUDIO: Nathan Horton | Ryan Murray | Todd Richards

UPDATE (2:05 PM):
Horton is slated to make his debut on a line with Brandon Dubinsky (LW) and Artem Anisimov (C). Here are the other Jackets lines...

Foligno - Johansen - Umberger
Jenner - Letestu - Tropp
Comeau - MacKenzie - Atkinson

UPDATE (2:00 PM):
It's official...the Blue Jackets have activated Nathan Horton, Sergei Bobrovsky and Dalton Prout off injured reserve. Horton is set to make his CBJ debut tonight against the Coyotes. 

UPDATE (10:40 AM):
A rather significant update from our Jeff Rimer in Phoenix...

- Nathan Horton is expected to make his season and Blue Jackets debut tonight against the Coyotes. So, there's that. Try and contain your excitement. We can't.

- Sergei Bobrovsky is looking likely to dress as the backup goaltender tonight. McElhinney will start.

- Dalton Prout is slated to return this evening, as well. Many happy returns, indeed.

MORNING SKATE:
 It's game two of a four-game road trip tonight in Glendale, Ariz., and another strong test is on tap against the Coyotes. The Blue Jackets are scheduled for an 11:30 a.m. (local time) morning skate at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, and we'll have complete coverage for you right here at Game Day Central all afternoon. Also, look for lineup changes, thoughts on the match-up against the Coyotes, storylines from the other side and an interview with coach Todd Richards. Stay tuned to this page for the latest!

The Blue Jackets could be on the verge of getting a large boost to their lineup. After practice on Wednesday in Glendale, Todd Richards it's very likely that Nathan Horton makes his Blue Jackets debut on Thursday against the Coyotes. 

Read that again, and yes...it's still there. Richards is proceeding as if Horton will be available to play Thursday, and the returns from injury might not stop there. The Blue Jackets also expect Sergei Bobrovsky to be able to dress and at least backup, while Dalton Prout is also slated to return from an upper body injury.

Got all that? 

If Bobrovsky isn't entirely ready to start, that means Curtis McElhinney will once again be the guy between the pipes for Columbus - but that could change depending on Bobrovsky's status after the morning skate. You know what that means: stay tuned to Game Day Central for the latest.




If Horton is ready to go and in the lineup on Thursday night, there's no use examining any other storylines. But since it's not 100 percent at this point, let's take a look at some others.

Man...we really sold you on reading further, didn't we?

But much like was discussed prior to Tuesday's game, the Blue Jackets and Coyotes don't need introduced. These two teams saw plenty of each other when Columbus was a member of the Western conference and made a pair of annual trips to Glendale, and quite frankly, it didn't always go well.

Their last two trips to the desert (both in 2012-13) have resulted in a pair of losses by a combined 10-3 margin, but the only meeting last season at Nationwide Arena was a 1-0 shootout win for the Blue Jackets - a game that could have gone either way on multiple occasions. 

The next installment of Blue Jackets-Coyotes has high stakes for both teams (that's been stated here before) and especially for Columbus, which needs to keep pace in the Metropolitan Division standings; the Blue Jackets have followed a three-game win streak with back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and Colorado - both by identical 5-3 final scores - and their penalty killing has let them down in a big way.

Columbus has yielded six power play goals against in its last two losses, and on New Year's Eve, the Avalanche were 3-for-3 on the power play while the Blue Jackets did not score on their three man advantage opportunities. 





AT ST. LOUIS BLUES

SATURDAY, 8 P.M.
SCOTTRADE CENTER


   

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
B. Dubinsky 4 1 5 1 6
J. Johnson 4 3 2 1 5
R. Johansen 4 2 3 0 5
B. Jenner 4 2 2 -2 4
M. Calvert 4 2 1 3 3
D. Savard 4 0 3 2 3
M. Letestu 4 1 1 -1 2
C. Atkinson 4 1 1 2 2
J. Wisniewski 4 0 2 -4 2
A. Anisimov 4 0 2 -1 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 2 2 0 .900 3.22
 
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