GAME 15: BLUE JACKETS VS. RANGERS
NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 P.M.
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO / FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: 97.1 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM
SETTING THE STAGE: One could surmise that, with 14 games under their belt, the Blue Jackets are placing emphasis on Game No. 15, which is a Friday night tilt against the high-flying New York Rangers.
If you asked John Tortorella, he would strongly disagree.
The way the Blue Jackets have approached this season has been the same every day. When they're at the rink, it's a work day. When they're not, it's a rest day. They do their work during practice and spend the rest days getting ready for their next game. Tortorella wants to remove any temptation of over-coaching or any opportunity to feed his players too much information, and instead, wants them focusing on conserving their energy for games.
And in saying that, they're treating their game against the Rangers as the 15th game of 82 on their regular season schedule and nothing more, nothing less. It's another chance to bank two points on home ice, and the mentality is to do everything they can to make that happen.
This Rangers team presents another daunting test, boasting the league's highest goals per game output (they're averaging more than four goals per contest) and also one of its top goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist. From top to bottom, the Rangers may be the NHL's most balanced team and perhaps its fastest team, a lot like the Blue Jackets' last opponent in the Washington Capitals.
NOTEWORTHY NEWS: Scott Harrington, who made his Blue Jackets debut in a last-minute situation on Tuesday, remained on the third pairing with Markus Nutivaara at Thursday's practice. Dalton Prout, who Tortorella said "locked up" prior to the last game, was not on the ice. Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start in goal for the Blue Jackets, while Lundqvist gets the nod for the Rangers.
PROJECTED CBJ LINEUP:
Saad - Wennberg - Foligno
Jenner - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Calvert - Karlsson - Anderson
Hartnell - Sedlak - Gagner
Werenski - Savard
Murray - Johnson
Nutivaara - Harrington