GAME 52: BLUE JACKETS AT RED WINGS
JOE LOUIS ARENA, 7:30 P.M.
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO/ FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: 97.1 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM
SETTING THE STAGE: After Saturday's loss to the New Jersey Devils, John Tortorella simply said his team would return to practice on Monday and try to get better.
While it may not be the most satisfying answer for those looking for something more precise, the Blue Jackets sorely need to find some consistency in their game. They've been up-and-down since early January and, in the week following the All-Star break, they've seen more of the same. They've allowed at least four goals in six straight games, which is quite out-of-character for a team that was stingy defensively for the first half of the season.
They enter Tuesday's game in Detroit - their last-ever game at historic Joe Louis Arena - on the heels of a wild but effective win in New York, a solid performance in Pittsburgh (only disappointing because they couldn't get the second point) and a game against the Devils that left a lot to be desired. It's the Blue Jackets' penultimate road game of the month, which is hard to believe, as they'll play the bulk of February at Nationwide Arena including a seven-game home stand that begins Thursday.
But first, they need to right the ship and a confident Red Wings team stands in the way.
Detroit last played Saturday in Nashville, picking up a 1-0 win thanks to a Petr Mrazek shutout. With Jimmy Howard on a conditioning assignment, the goaltending duties rest in the hands of Mrazek and Jared Coreau.
NOTEWORTHY NEWS: The Blue Jackets held an hour-long practice on Monday morning before flying to Detroit. Josh Anderson, who missed Saturday's game due to illness, was back on the ice with the team. Expect the same defense pairs from Saturday while Anderson rejoins the group up front. Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start for Columbus.
PROJECTED CBJ LINEUP:
Saad - Wennberg - Foligno
Jenner - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Calvert - Karlsson - Anderson
Hartnell - Sedlak - Gagner
Werenski - Jones
Murray - Johnson
Harrington - Nutivaara