Columbus Blue Jackets Look to Avoid Team History


This losing streak has to end at some point, right? Well, what better night than tonight, when the Columbus Blue Jackets will head to the city of brotherly love to face off against old pals like Steve Mason and R.J. Umberger and the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Jackets’ trend of not playing a full 60 minutes of hockey once again bit them on Tuesday, as another slow start and a three-goal first period proved to be too much for the CBJ to overcome, and the Capitals handed Columbus their ninth consecutive loss to tie the franchise-long losing streak, last achieved in December of 2009.

In an opening month and a half which has struggled to find a positive for the Blue Jackets, if there is one, it’s the play of Scott Hartnell, who faces his former team for the first time tonight (and, common sense would dictate, goes the same for Umby against Lumbus). Hartnell, through 15 games played, has five goals, nine assists, and is averaging 18:36 on ice per game. Compare that to Umby’s one goal, two assists and 14:31 of TOI, and it’s pretty clear who won that mid-summer deal.

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However, unlike Columbus nearly relying on the play of Hartnell, Philly hasn’t had to rely on Umberger, and they come into tonight on a three game winning streak (which has brought them back to .500), and have scored four goals in every game during the streak – a pair of 4-1 wins over Edmonton and Florida, and a 4-3 victory over Colorado. For a team that’s being outscored 39-18 over this nine game losing streak (0-8-1, for those who have been tuning out, since Oct. 23rd), this is


a welcoming sign.

What is a welcoming sign, is that Sergei Bobrovsky may be returning to the CBJ lineup tonight, and hopefully that means he’ll be back on the ice, because boy is he missed. Assuming, of course, nothing has changed from the plan tweeted out by guys like Portz and Rob Mixer earlier in the week, Bob should make his return from IR tonight.

Aside from playing 60 minutes of hockey, the Jackets are tasked with finding a way to stop an offense with three guys with more than five goals, and another three guys who have four. If you shut someone out, they’re just going to use someone else to beat you.

I’m feeling good about tonight – don’t ask me why, but I do. Let’s just hope my optimism isn’t mistaken for something else. Or, worse, flat wrong.

Next: Will The Jackets Be On in Your House Tonight?

P.S. – Jack Johnson’s three-game suspension is up, and is eligible to return to the ice again. So, yeah.