Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Keys To the Match Up: CBJ vs DET


It’s a CBJ game day! To get things kicked off, let’s take a quick look at the Keys to the Match Up for tonight’s game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings:

Get all 4 lines involved

The top line of Gaborik / Dubinsky / Atkinson has been about the only consistent scoring threat the Jackets have had so far. The rest of the lines have either not shown up, or fallen victim to constant line changes. While it is frustrating to see all of the shuffling, you can’t blame Coach Richards for trying to find something that seems to work. However, at this point it may be better to let things settle in and allow some chemistry to build. I understand you have to move players around to find lines that will gel, but at some point you have to settle on some acceptable combinations.

Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Jackets Need to Win Face offs:

Johansen had a pretty dismal game in the face off circle against Boston, only winning 6 out of 12 draws. On the season, Johansen is 26/30 for a 46.4 FO%, which is good enough for 2nd on the team, Dubinsky leads the Jackets with a 56.7 FO%. When the other team is getting the puck first more than half of the time, the CBJ will have difficulty winning the puck possession battle.

Limit Costly Mistakes

Through 4 games the Jackets haven’t played bad hockey, they have just made critical errors at the worst possible time. Teams can get lucky at times and not have errors (like leaving a player wide open in front of the net) cost them, but so far that has not been the case for the CBJ. Some plain old luck may factor into this one, but the Jackets need to contain their mistakes against the Wings, and try to not have them blow up in their faces.

Capitalize More on 5 vs 5:

When looking at Shooting% for 5 vs 5 play, Nick Foligno leads the team with a 40.0%. After Foligno, only 4 players even register a percentage. When you take a look at 5 on 4 play, Jack Johnson has a much better shooting percentage of 66.7%. The Jackets are getting great chances on the power play, but key players like Johnson are not doing as well at even strength.

On the PP, Jack Johnson has a relative Corsi of 28.4, whereas at even strength his relative Corsi drops to -5.4. It is to be expected that players will get more scoring chances on the PP, but the CBJ need to do better at even strength, and not rely on PP time to generate offense.

If you’re looking to cheer on the Columbus on the road, you can find Blue Jackets vs. Red Wings tickets still available.

Check back later for more Union and Blue game day coverage!

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets