Columbus Blue Jackets @ New Jersey Devils
7:00 PM, Prudential Center,
Newark, New Jersey
It is finally upon us. Blue Jackets hockey is back! Obviously the glory and heartache of Olympic Hockey wasn’t enough to fight our urges for hockey. The air is thick with hopes of an amazing playoff run. You know all the players are all ready to go.
With being off for nearly 3 weeks, the biggest issue with the players will likely be rust. Although they have all been practicing extremely hard, the pace of an actual game will be a test to some. It will be interesting to see how the teams handle the first period.
The Devils have a record of 24-22-13. With a very solid 13-7-7 record at home, the Devils will be looking to finally get one in the win column against the Jackets. One of the players to look out for is going to be Jaromir Jagr, one of the ageless wonders in the NHL. He is still as lethal as many of the young guns in the league and his 17 goals and 32 assists show that. Also the tandem of Corey Schneider and Martin Brodeur is always a scary combination to look at.
The Blue Jackets have a record of 29-24-5. The road record for the CBJ 13-13-3 is a solid stat. With the playoffs rapidly approaching, the players will be working extremely hard not to have to feel the sting of missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. The players to watch for the Jackets would be the Russian trio of Sergei Bobrovsky, Nikita Nikitin, and Artem Anisimov. Obviously coming off an extreme amount of pressure and disappointment with the failure to medal in Sochi it will be entertaining to see the way they handle this matchup. Also the return of Marian Gaborik should give a little bit of a jump start to the Jackets Scoring.
Game Prediction: I think it will be a hard fought battle until very late. The jackets will win this game 3-1. Expect Gaborik to get a goal and 2 assists.
You can watch the game on Fox Sports Ohio at 7PM