Thursday, November 26, 2009

Game Preview: CBJ vs. OTT

Tonight the Blue Jackets will complete their five game road trip against the Ottawa Senators, who have been playing strong hockey of late. While this could spell trouble for the Jackets, who have allowed 12 goals in their last two games, it may open the door for a high scoring affair, with Pascal Leclaire falling to a facial injury thanks to an errant puck.

While it is a shame Leclaire can not backstop the Senators against his old team, it will make for an interesting night for Antoine Vermette and Mike Commodore, who have both spent time in the Nation's Capital. Vermette spent many years as a third line center in Ottawa, forced under the shadow of Spezza and Fisher, who maintained the top two centering positions. While this gave Antoine the opportunity to garner more minutes on the penalty kill, it gave little to his confidence and development.

Columbus has won the last three meetings between these two teams, including a 1-0 shutout victory last year at Nationwide. While the Senators home record is quite strong (9-3-3), they will be without the help of their leading goal scorer, Mike Fisher. Alexei Kovalev is expected to be re-inserted into the lineup.

For Columbus, it will be an opportunity to rebound from two very poor performances against New York and Montreal. It will be expected to see Mason in net, and the team will have to come together as a group if they want to shut down some of the bigger names on the Ottawa roster. One thing is for sure, we can expect an emphasis on possession and heavy forechecking AND backchecking by Coach Hitchcock. His blood was boiled after countless turnovers and defensive mistakes cost Columbus the lead in a tight game on Tuesday. Brian Elliott is expected to make the start for Ottawa.

Game time is 7.30pm EST. Drop us a line and let us know where your favorite place is to watch.

Carry the Flag!

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