Columbus Blue Jackets @ Colorado Avalanche
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 8:00PM
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The Columbus Blue Jackets begin a four game road trip tonight, which will see them play out West, before heading to NYC to take on the New York Rangers. Tonight they take on the Colorado Avalanche, with Phoenix and St. Louis also looming on the horizon. Colorado got off to one of the hottest starts at the beginning of the season, and they have 50 points in their first 38 games. However, with the Western Conference being a powerhouse this season, their 50 points puts them in third in the Central Division, behind Chicago (61 points) and St. Louis (57 points). Colorado has hit a bit of a rough patch lately and come into tonight’s game on a four game losing streak.
In their last ten games, Colorado is 3-3-4, whereas the Blue Jackets are 5-4-1. Columbus’ last game was a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena. The game was tied 2-2 at the end of the second period, but Pittsburgh stormed ahead midway through the third, once again handing Columbus a bitter defeat. If Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh showed that the Blue Jackets are not ready to run with the big boys of the NHL, then the next few games could be tough, as they face three Western Conference playoff contenders. Fortunately, Columbus is on a two game winning streak away from Nationwide Arena.
- Corey Tropp has two goals and two assists in his last four games with the Blue Jackets. For the Colorado Avalanche, Gabriel Landeskog has two goals and two assists in his last three games. [ NHL.com ]
- During 5 on 5 play, both Columbus and Colorado have similar Sh%, as they are ranked 5th and 6th respectively. Columbus has a 8.8 Sh% and Colorado has a 8.6 Sh%. [ Extra Skater.com ]
- Colorado’s success is built upon reliable goaltending, and their 93.5 SV% (4th overall) during 5 on 5 play reflects this. [ Extra Skater.com ]
- The Avalanche currently lead the league in PDO with 102.2. Columbus is in 11th with 100.9 [ Extra Skater.com ]
- According to the CBJ Daily, both Nathan Horton and Sergei Bobrovsky are traveling with the Blue Jackets for the four game road trip. If and when they start still remains to be determined. [ Columbus Blue Jackets ]
- It is expected that Curtis McElhinney will be in net tonight for Columbus and Semyon Varlamov will start for Colorado.
Union and Blue Song For the Game:
With the Jackets in Denver tonight, I thought I would go with Colorado’s own Five Iron Frenzy for the Song For the Game.