The Columbus Blue Jackets hit a new low of their own last night. After a 7-0 (!) loss to the Edmonton Oilers, the Jackets are now 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky was uncharacteristically poor between the pipes, and was mercifully yanked halfway through the game after allowing four goals on 18 shots. He was replaced by former Flame Curtis McElhinney, who made 11 of 14 saves for the remainder of the game. Bobrovsky is slated to start again tonight, so the Jackets will be hoping he can bounce back quickly.
Columbus had won two of their past five games and earned a point in all five before last night's blowout loss, led by...James Wisniewski? The defenceman leads the Jackets in scoring and has three points in his team's past five contests.
To make matters worse for the visitors, Columbus' second-leading scorer, Brandon Dubinsky, is likely to sit tonight's contest out with a bruised foot suffered in last night's game.
Ryan Johansen, however, has been a bright spot for the Jackets. Playing in his second season with Columbus after being drafted fourth overall in 2010, the 21-year-old is the third leading scorer on his team with six goals and 13 points a quarter of the way through the season. The Jackets are also missing forwards Marian Gaborik and Nathan Horton as well as defenceman Dalton Prout.
Projected Lines and Pairings:
After winning Monday's game the hard way in the shootout following four blown leads, Hartley has chosen to stick with the lineup that he iced when his team snapped its six-game losing streak. We've been over how perplexing it is that he is seemingly refusing to utilize Ramo in any way other than as relief for Berra, who put on a show in the shootout and faced 47 shots on Monday night--if anything, I'd think the coaching staff might want to give him a break after that, but nonetheless the Swiss rookie gets the start again tonight. Not that the Flames' mediocre goaltending was ever going to match up to Bobrovsky even on an off night.
Blake Comeau and Tim Erixon will also hit the ice against their former team tonight. Don't be surprised to hear the boo birds come out when Erixon hits the ice at the Saddledome for the first time tonight.