The Blue Jackets look to make it three straight wins as they are host to the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 7:00 pm. The Oilers are sitting at the basement of the Western Conference and are in the midst of a rebuilding stage with plenty of youthful talent. The Blue Jackets can’t afford to lose two points to the struggling Oilers or any team for that matter. It should be a fast paced game with plenty of energy as both teams rely on plenty of speed and fore-checking.
It looked as though Kris Russell was going to be ready to play tonight but the Blue Jackets won’t take any chances. Instead the Blue Jacket’s rookie defenseman, Nick Holden, will continue to dress. Holden has been very impressive and has made the best of his opportunity.
It is feared that Kristian Huselius will be out for longer than originally anticipated as his injury looks to be more serious. Huselius started the season strong with 5 points in 7 games.
Derick Brassard will continue to see time on the top line with Rick Nash and Jakub Voracek. He seems to be a good fit with Nash, but then again who doesn’t look good with a player like Nash on your wing. Brassard is playing some of his best hockey in the past few games.
Nikita Filatov will remain on the fourth line as he continues to struggle. Filatov is a top six forward, however, he needs to improve his work ethic in order to earn more playing time. Coach Scott Arniel is the type of coach that will reward those players that work hard and is not afraid to demote players who don’t. Filatov isn’t necessarily in the dog house but he does need to prove that he can consistently play on the top two lines in Columbus.
The Edmonton Oilers are starting their back-up goalie Devon Dubnyk tonight. This could be a motivating factor in the game tonight as the Oilers feel that they can still win against Columbus with their back-up in nets. I would guess that Arniel mentions this in his pregame speech.
Expect the game to be a fast pace game with lots of end to end play and plenty of scoring opportunities. The Blue Jackets will look to continue their streak in their quest for a playoff spot. The Oilers will try to earn a rare win as they need to keep the confidence up of many young talented stars.
Go Jackets Go!
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Written by Jason Wagensveld