Columbus Blue Jackets Look To Reach .500 As Nashville Comes To Town


Remember the last time the Columbus Blue Jackets lost in regulation? I almost hadn’t either, its been so long. But, because I’m a good blogger, I did some research and it turns out, the last time the Jackets didn’t record a point in the standings was their final game in the month of November, down in Nashvegas, in a 2-1 loss to the Nasvhille Predators. That was then.

Since…well, you know the story. Columbus is 8-0-1 in December and are lead by their backbone between the pipes in Sergei Bobrovsky (who, I’ll have you know, didn’t play down in Bridgestone Arena) who has posted a 2.01 GAA and a .940 save percentage since the calender turned. He’s officially returned to “Bob mode,” and some even think he’s entered the Veznia conversation. Granted, we’re still in 2014, but not bad.

On the other end of the ice tonight, though, there’s another pretty solid netminder. Pekka Rinne has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL since the puck dropped on the season, and has a 21-6-1 record (the Preds total come in with a 21-8-2 mark) with a 1.87 GAA and .933 save percentage on the season. On the season! Not bad. Rinne finished the previous meeting against the Blue Jackets with allowing just the one goal and a .955 save percentage, but gave up five goals last outing on Saturday in an overtime outing against Minnesota. So, he is beat able.

The Preds know a thing or two about point streaks themselves, as they started the season on a seven game point streak and got off to the fastest start in the league, making most turn their heads. They’ve also played in back-to-back overtime games, and we know how many the Jackets have been involved in as of late, so just prepare yourself. Speaking of which, if the Blue Jackets do go past the third period tonight, it’ll tie the NHL record for consecutive games played into overtime. So, another thing to possibly prepare yourself for.

This streak Columbus has put together, while impressive, almost seems to be in spite of themselves. The Dispatch‘s Aaron Portzline laid this knowledge on us yesterday.

Nearly 100 shots, you guys. That’s crazy. Shots period might come at a premium tonight against Rinne, so the Jackets will have to make sure they count even more so. I, personally, have no problem with this discrepancy in shots – it’s like a baseball game in which one team has 15 hits and the other has six, but the latter of the two teams scores more runs. Shots are nice, yes, but the game is won on goals, and the Blue Jackets have been scoring enough. Just enough.

Puck drops at seven, and there are only three more games left here in 2014. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Do you have any predictions or keys to the game? Let us know in a comment below, or tweet us @UnionandBlue.