Pregame #12: Columbus Blue Jackets vs Carolina Hurricanes


I think it’s safe to say the Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t had the best start to their season, especially given the way they ended last year. After a franchise-record-setting season, no one had expected the Jackets to be 4-7 in their first 11 games, and disappointment is creeping back into the fan base.

Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

But it’s still early, and every game is a new game, so let’s just focus on the positives for tonight. Finally, there has been some good news on the injury front in Columbus. Young forwards Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert were both activated off the injured reserve yesterday and are both expected to play tonight.

The return of Jenner and Calvert should give the Jackets a little more bounce in their step — they are two players who bring the physicality, hustle and energy that make the Jackets so much fun to watch. They bring the energy that has been noticeably lacking in the last few games, so hopefully the Jackets will come out looking better tonight.

With good news, though, comes bad news as well. Both Artem Anisimov and Cody Goloubef have been placed on IR. You gain  two, you lose two. Losing Arty is just one more blow to the Jackets’ lineup, but hopefully his presence won’t be missed as much as it would have if Jenner and Calvert had still been out.

But, if anyone can understand the Jackets’ early struggles with injury woes, it is Carolina. The Hurricanes have suffered their fair share of injuries this season as well, and are currently two points behind the Jackets (even after five straight losses),  sitting at just 6 points and last in the Metro division. The Jackets are just above them with 8 points.

So far this season, the Jackets are a disappointing 2-3-0 at home, but Carolina is 0-5-1 on the road. The Canes haven’t had any luck in opposing arenas this season, and the Jackets need to be able to capitalize on that tonight. Although after five straight losses it’s likely Nationwide won’t have the atmosphere it could, it is still a home game, and the Jackets need to use whatever momentum they can get from the crowd to pull off a victory at home.

More from Union and Blue

Tonight, the Jackets will be trying to battle back from five straight losses, while the Canes are trying to build on a two-game win streak, their first and only two wins of the season having come in their last two games against the Coyotes and the Kings respectively. The Canes will be coming into this game riding a high note and looking to rebound after a disappointing start to the season, and the Jackets are going to have to have more energy than they have recently if they hope to match that. While it is still early, five straight losses should put some desperation into the team, and hopefully the return of Calvert and Jenner will give them some much-needed momentum as well. Here’s hoping it’s enough, and they can overcome recent woes and grab a home victory tonight. Go Jackets!