Preview: Blue Jackets vs. Flames

Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 10:00 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

BLUE JACKETS VS. CALGARY FLAMES
TONIGHT, 7 P.M.
NATIONWIDE ARENA
LIVE BLOG | TICKET INFO



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The Blue Jackets begin their 2013-14 season at relatively full strength, missing one of their regular forwards and potentially one of the top-four defensemen. Jared Boll, who suffered an upper body injury during training camp and only rejoined practice on Thursday, is not expected to play tonight for Columbus. Fedor Tyutin, injured during Wednesday's practice at Nationwide Arena, could play tonight but coach Todd Richards said more will be known after the morning skate.

No surprise here, but Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start between the pipes for the Blue Jackets but his goaltending opponent is unknown. Karri Ramo started last night's 5-4 shootout loss for Calgary in Washington, so it's possible that veteran backup Joey MacDonald gets the call for the Flames.

Here are the Blue Jackets projected lines: Jenner-Dubinsky-Gaborik, Letestu-Anisimov-Comeau, Calvert-Johansen-Atkinson, Umberger-MacKenzie-Foligno. The defense pairs: Johnson-Prout, Murray-Wisniewski, Nikitin-Erixon/Savard.




Opening night brings a lot of excitement, but in the same breath, there's also plenty of uncertainty. Everyone is anticipating the atmosphere, the energy inside the building, but the players are worried about getting through the warm-up and then the first shift.

In this particular instance, it's kind of a mystery as to which team has the upper hand. Calgary played last night in Washington - played well in fact - got its feet wet and had some time together to help get settled in. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, have been practicing against themselves for a week and are sick and tired of it. Does the home team, raucous crowd and all, have an advantage? Or is it the visiting team, already in the swing of things, that can hit the ground running?

No matter how you look at it, the Blue Jackets have to back up what they've been talking about for weeks: last year is now in the past and they cannot worry about their 19-5-5 run in the spring. It wasn't good enough, the players will tell you, and the page has been turned to 2013-14. They know well that they cannot simply lace up the skates on opening night and walk away with a victory; they'll need everyone doing their part and playing the team game that made them so successful last season.

Controlling the emotions is key on opening night, and not straying outside of yourself to make something happen is something players have to be aware of, according to Mark Letestu. It's about short shifts in the early going, finishing checks and getting the crowd involved. If the Blue Jackets can do that and commit to it, they won't have a problem settling into their game.





at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
SATURDAY, 7 P.M.
UNIONDALE, N.Y.

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 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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