No morning skate today for the Blue Jackets, who get right back on the horse tonight against one of the best teams in the stacked Central Division.
You know them well, of course. The Nashville Predators are old friends of Columbus from the former Central Division days. There were some wicked, confrontational battles between these clubs when they met eight times per season (though I think the Blue Jackets are glad they don’t have to make four visits to Bridgestone Arena anymore…that was their house of horrors).
It’s been a long week for the Predators having not played since Tuesday night, when they beat the Anaheim Ducks on home ice before getting a brief respite. The Blue Jackets have had no such luxury, having played last night and are currently in the midst of a three-in-four spurt that concludes Sunday at Nationwide Arena against the San Jose Sharks.
Here’s what we know so far: Pekka Rinne is expected to start in goal for Nashville. He’s always played well against Columbus, so it’s not much of a surprise if he ends getting the nod from Peter Laviolette.
Sergei Bobrovsky will start for the Blue Jackets after Curtis McElhinney made his first start in nearly two weeks last night in Ottawa. It was a solid and encouraging outing for McElhinney despite seeing limited action this season, making 26 saves to give the Blue Jackets a fighting chance.
Some other items as we get set for Friday night hockey:
- The Blue Jackets’ penalty killing was strong again last night, going 4-for-5 with the lone blemish being an empty-net goal in the final minute. Columbus really frustrated the Senators on the power play and denied a lot of the usual movement they’re used to, and made it really hard for Erik Karlsson to get involved (yes, he scored twice at even strength, but the power play was a different story).
- Lineup changes tonight for the Blue Jackets, per John Tortorella: none aside from Bobrovsky.
- Tortorella was asked if he'd seen the David Savard boarding major (which has since been rescinded by the NHL), and he said his opinion hasn't changed. "It's not even a penalty."
- Predators captain Shea Weber has rejoined the team after missing practice earlier in the week due to the birth of his second child. He’s expected to be in the lineup tonight.
- You know those awesome game posters (designed by our graphic designer, Anthony Zych) that everyone seems to be talking about? For the first time, we’re giving you the chance to win them. Click HERE and enter today.