Columbus Blue Jackets Look to Continue Good Play in Matchup With Wild


Tonight, you’ll get to see two hockey teams that are having season no one could have predicted. The Minnesota Wild were in the conversations of competing for a top-division spot, and were expected to be in playoff contention for sure, while the Columbus Blue Jackets were basically in the same boat.

However, here we are, two games before the All Star break, and things…haven’t gone as planned. The Blue Jackets have recently brought a four-game losing streak to an end, while the Wild are on a two game win streak which follows a six game slide. Fun fact – before the first time Minnesota and Columbus hooked up (New Year’s Eve), Minnesota was a game removed from another six game losing streak. Crazy, I know.

Let’s talk about this brief two game winning streak the Wild find themselves on – they crushed, and I mean crushed the Sabres on Thursday, winning 7-0, and they’re fresh off a victory over a 3-2 victory against Arizona. What? Only one goal allowed over their last six periods? What’s gotten into them?

The answer – Devan Dubnykwho the Wild acquired from the aforementioned Coyotes. And while its a small sample size, it seems he’s the answer the Wild have been looking for to stabilize their goaltending situation. The scoring has come alive for the Wild too, and I’m willing to bet good money its the Sergei Bobrovsky factor that the Blue Jackets went through – when they know the goalie play behind them is solid, the offense feels a bit of a lift from their shoulders and they do better things.

One guy who’s doing great things offensively is Columbus’ Ryan JohansenJoey comes into tonight with a 13 game point streak, and has actually taken over the team lead in points, with 43, jumping fellow All Star (and All Star captain) Nick FolignoJohansen opened up the scoring Saturday in Boston and watching this team play when he is scoring is so. Much. Fun.

Josh Anderson has yet another chance to continue to impress, as his physical play has already made him a new favorite. He got time on the top line Saturday and lead the team in hits against the Bruins. The Jackets have gotten good play from some unlikely places this season, and Anderson is simply the next in that line.

The Blue Jackets want to clinch their second season-series victory in as many games, as they took that NYE matchup 3-1 in Nationwide. The Wild want to ride the hot sticks and goaltender to even things up, and move their winning streak to three games. This game just got a lot more interesting, and we will find out who gets the best of whom tonight at eight.