Edmonton Oilers @ Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00 PM, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Just ten days ago, the Blue Jackets were coming off a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, but the good feelings would not last for long. That night they were handed a 7-0 beating from the Edmonton Oilers. It would prove to be the low-point of the Canadian road trip (though the 6-2 defeat from the Vancouver Canucks is a close second). Tonight, Columbus gets another crack at the Oilers, who are in town tonight to play their second game in two nights. The Jackets last played Wednesday night, a 4-0 shutout loss to the Nashville Predators. A game in which the Jackets didn’t see a double digit shot count until 90 seconds remained in the 2nd period. A game that followed an amazing 6-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs that restored some hope that this team would turn things around.
Edmonton is coming off a 3-0 shutout win over the same Nashville Predators who blanked the Jackets. Even more surprising: the shutout came from Ilya Bryzgalov in his first NHL start since April 25th. Oilers coach Dallas Eakins was impressed with Bryzgalov’s play:
‘Check marks across the board for him. He did a great job,’ Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said after the game. ‘There were never any nerves. Start to finish, everybody played well… it was a textbook game for us.’
-Dallas Eakins, NHL.com
It is great to see Columbus get another shot at the Oilers, but they run into an Edmonton team that finally seems to be figuring itself out. They are 2-1-0 since the win over the Blue Jackets, the only blemish on the record being a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. However with Bryzgalov showing promise, and they offense waking up, the Jackets are going to have to bring their best if they want to get revenge.
What Columbus needs to do is win tonight, but then also win tomorrow against the Boston Bruins. The Jackets have proven they can bounce back from tough losses, but they have been unable to string together multiple wins. You cannot build confidence if you follow every win with a really bad loss. A 6-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs, cannot be followed by a 4-0 shutout loss of your own. The road to consistency can start tonight with a win over the Oilers.
Next up we will check out some interesting stats for tonight’s game, as well as game notes and the Union and Blue Song For the Game!