Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings Pregame


Tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets try to make it three in a row as their old friends the Detroit Red Wings come to visit. The Jackets, recently off a nine-game skid, had a successful weekend, taking down the Flyers and the Sharks back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. Can they repeat the effort tonight?

Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s game against the San Jose Sharks saw the return of starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, and he was a sight for sore eyes. The fans welcomed him back into Nationwide Arena, and he all but stood on his head to carry his team to their second straight victory in as many nights. That’s one piece of good news on the injury front.

As for the bad news, Friday night’s game saw the loss of Fedor Tyutin, now expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. Not cool. As Tyutin was sent to IR on Friday, the Jackets acquired Jordan Leopold from the St. Louis Blues to help fill the gap on the blue line. The Jackets are also missing Ryan Murray, who is week-to-week with recurring knee complications.

Lastly, there’s Ryan Johansen. He is listed as “questionable” by coach Richards, saying he is “banged up” and missed practice today. He collided with the goal post in Saturday’s game, but his “maintenance day” isn’t necessarily a result of that collision. We’ll just have to wait and see if he can play tonight. (For a full injury update, go here.)

But enough of that. Let’s talk about tonight’s match-up. Well, the Jackets are taking on a team that is 8-4-5, 8 points better than Columbus. The Jackets are 3-5-0 at home, while the Wings are 2-2-3 on the road. The Jackets’ lack of success at  home this season has been a problem, and Tuesday games don’t always see the best attendance. That means they can’t rely on the crowd for energy tonight, however awesome the 5ht line is.

On Saturday, the Jackets came out with a ton of energy; more than we’ve seen in a lot of games this season. Considering it was the second night of a back-to-back, it was impressive (although I wish they’d play like that every night). If the Jackets want to take down the Wings tonight, they’ll need that same energy.

Tuesday night games, though, don’t always have the same amount of energy as Saturday games do, it’s just a fact of life. The good news is, coming off back-to-back wins and the return of everyone’s favorite goalie, the Jackets fans are finally getting excited about hockey games again. (Nine losses kinda saps the energy, I get it.)

More from Union and Blue

All that to say, hopefully there will be some excitement in Nationwide tonight. But, even if there isn’t, the Jackets need to find a way to recreate the energy they had on Saturday, and bring the same performance. They were an entirely different team this weekend than they were during the preceding nine games. They need to be that team again. They need to find out what worked this weekend and make it happen tonight. It would feel great to win three games in a row, and it would feel even better to do it against an old rival like Detroit. Game on!