Bienvenue à Quebec Columbus Blue Jackets

Dec 23, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) carries the puck as Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (67) trails the play during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 23, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) carries the puck as Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (67) trails the play during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Columbus Blue Jackets travel to Quebec for the first and only time this season. The Atlantic leading Montreal Canadiens await in what could be a first round playoff preview.

Tuesday marks the third and final match up between two of the top Eastern Conference contenders. The Columbus Blue Jackets will look to complete the series sweep of the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

The Jackets are coming off two big divisional wins over the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. Columbus posted an impressive 12-2 spread over their Metro foes dominating ever facet of the game.

While Columbus has been in Montreal since Sunday night, the Canadiens were off in New Jersey where they beat the Devils in overtime 4-3. Al Montoya started in net for the Habs so Carey Price will be rested for the game tonight.

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Playoff Preview

The Metro Division standings are about as tight as they can get. The Columbus Blue Jackets sit in third but are only one point ahead of a wild-card spot. The first wild-card team will in all likelihood face the Canadiens in the first round. The Rangers and Jackets have been flip flopping spots for the first wild card and the right to face the Atlantic Division champ.

Montreal has led the division the entire year although Ottawa is challenging for the division now. Many believe that the Columbus Blue Jackets’ best chance to make a playoff run is through the Atlantic side of the bracket.

This logic is seems to ignore the fact that Carey Price is the best goalie on the planet. The Jackets have yet to face Price this year as Al Montoya has started in the two losses for the Habs. Tomorrows match up of Sergei Bobrovsky and Carey Price should be great one, but that is what we said about the last game and the Jackets torched Henrik Lundqvist.

10-0

It’s impossible to talk about this game without remembering the November 4th game in Columbus. The Habs were 9-0-1 coming into the match up and looked like they may drop a point  all season.

The Habs were run out of the building by the Jackets in what will be one of the brightest memories of the season thus far. 16 of the 18 CBJ skaters recorded a point including Alexander Wennberg’s four assist.

Be careful what you wish for Columbus fans. Tonight we’ll see the real Montreal Canadiens with Price in the pipes. A sold out Bell Centre will show the Jackets what a playoff series with Montreal will look like.

Next: Jackets Pick Up Zac Dalpe