Columbus Blue Jackets vs Vancouver Canucks
Where: Nationwide Arena
When: Sunday, October 20th, 2013 @ 6:00pm
Broadcast Information: Fox Sports Ohio, 97.1 The Fan
Both the Jackets and Canucks come into today’s game after disappointing losses. The Canucks scored a late goal to go ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but allowed Pittsburgh to immediately tie the game back up mere seconds later. Pittsburgh went on to win the game in the shootout. The Blue Jackets had a much less dramatic defeat last night against the Washington Capitals, a game in which very little went the Union Blue’s way. When the highlight of the game is a Brandon Dubinsky fight, you know the Blue Jackets had a rough night.
Both teams will attempt to put last night in the past and finish out the weekend on a high note. The Canucks come into today’s game at 5-3-1, while the Jackets are on a 4 game skid and 2-4-0.
It is expected that Curtis McElhinney will get the start for the Jackets in net today. Last night’s loss has nothing to do with this, as Coach Richards had said that Bobrovsky would sit one of this weekend’s games. Last season, McElhinney posted a 29 wins with Springfield, along with a 2.32 GAA / .923 SV%. It is still not yet known whether Roberto Luongo or backup Eddie Lack will be in net for Vancouver.
After facing two teams with a Top 10 PP%, the Vancouver Canucks are performing at a much more manageable 8.3 PP%, 29th in the NHL. While the Jackets still need to watch the penalties, they should have an easier time killing them off. On the other end, the Canucks lead the league in PK%, at 90%, so the Jackets cannot rely on the power play for scoring chances today.
One thing that the Jackets will have to keep in mind today, is the shot-blocking defense that Vancouver now employs with John Tortorella as coach. The Jackets will need to drive to the net, as shots taken from further out face a greater chance of being blocked by the defenders. Vancouver is currently tied for first for Blocked Shots (142).
The Blue Jackets showed some signs of life in the aftermath of Dubinsky’s fight. Hopefully that late momentum, which resulted in their only goal for the night, will carry over into tonight’s game. The Jackets are looking to snap their 4 games losing streak and earn their first win at home.