GAME 31: OILERS (12-16-2) AT BLUE JACKETS (19-10-1)
NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 P.M., TUESDAY
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO/FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: 97.1 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM
After sweeping back-to-back games this past weekend, the Blue Jackets will get right back at it Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers, another Western Conference with a point to prove.
Just like the Arizona Coyotes, whom the Jackets defeated, 1-0, Saturday night at Nationwide Arena, the Oilers are out to show their record isn't indicative of their capability as a team. Led by captain Connor McDavid, their young captain, Edmonton has posted strong numbers everywhere but the stat column that counts most: wins.
The Oilers are young, fast and skilled up front, and have the ability to skate with any team in the NHL. They're just off to a disappointing start, after advancing to the conference finals last season.
Columbus, meanwhile, entered Monday first in the Metropolitan Division (39 points). The Blue Jackets are 10-3-0 since Nov. 11, tied for the most wins in the NHL in that span, despite a group of veteran stars still trying to overcome sluggish starts. That includes Cam Atkinson, who was scratched Saturday against the Coyotes.
Atkinson, who hasn't had a point since signing a seven-year contract extension, will return to the lineup after using the game off to hit a figurative reset button on his season.
"It's a wake-up call, and I take full responsibility," Atkinson said after practice Monday. "I know I need to be way better, and I will be."