Game Preview: Columbus Looks to Keep Momentum Rolling Against Toronto

(Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

The Columbus Blue Jackets are about to enter one of the most difficult stretches of the season, playing some of the league’s top teams in the span of a week.

Columbus has been hot since returning from the All-Star Break, with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Patrik Laine making his case to stay in Columbus, scoring four goals in the last five games. The Blue Jackets have won two of their last three games and have scored sixteen goals over those last three games, an increase in scoring that can’t be denied compared to the beginning of the season.

The ultimate question for CBJ fans right now is the consistency of the goaltending. Both Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo are injured right now, as is Daniil Tarasov, making the goalie position one of great interest and concern. J-F Berube is scheduled to make his second start tonight against the Leafs, with Jet Greaves as the backup. Many fans didn’t have the slightest clue who Greaves was at the beginning of the season, as he’s split his time between the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL and the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters before Columbus signed him to a three-year entry deal. Berube started against Buffalo on Sunday, giving up three goals to the Sabres on 36 shots.

Toronto is looking to get back on track and avoid slipping to a three-game losing streak tonight, as the Leafs lost to St. Louis and Montreal, giving up eleven goals in only two games. Not only did Toronto lose to Montreal, they were pummeled, 5-2 by the struggling Canadiens. The Maple Leafs are starting Jack Campbell in net, who has a .922 save percentage on the season. To beat Campbell, Columbus will have to be quicker to get sticks on rebounds, sharper passing, and getting players in the crease quicker.

Columbus hosts Toronto tonight at Nationwide Arena, puck drop is at 7 PM.