Nov 27, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) and Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) battle for the puck during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jackets At Predators Pregame

After losing to an old division rival on Thursday, the Jackets look to rebound against another old rival in Nashville tonight. The loss on Thursday has the Jackets sitting two points out of a Wild Card spot in the East and three points out of a Metropolitan Division Playoff spot. The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers are tied for the second and third spots in the Metro Division with 72 points, while Columbus remains on the outside looking in with 69 points.

Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville is a much more desperate spot in the West. They currently have 62 points, making them 8 points out of a Western Conference Wild Card spot, and 15 points out of their division race. Those are big gaps to fill, and each loss makes it less likely the Preds will see the Playoffs this season. The Jackets can’t lose many more either. Though they are not nearly as far behind as Nashville, each loss puts them farther behind. They need to pull together some wins in order to make a significant push in the Eastern Conference standings.

The most obvious injury problem going into the game tonight is the Jackets’ defense. They went into the game in Chicago on Thursday already missing Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray, and in the course of the game lost Nikita Nikitin to injury. The loss of three of Columbus’ top defensemen certainly creates a large hole on the roster.

This is a chance for the Jackets’ rookie defensemen to show their worth to the team, but who knows if that will be enough defense to carry the team’s playoff hopes forward. To attempt to plug the gaping hole in the blue line the Jackets recalled defenseman Frederic St. Denis from Springfield, and he is expected to play tonight in Nashville.

It is good to see an old rival again, but let’s hope it turns out better than Thursday night! Go Jackets!

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