After spending the first nine years of his NHL career with the Columbus Blue Jackets, rugged right wing Jared Boll gets a chance to reacquaint himself with the team that drafted him 101st overall in the 2005 NHL Draft.
The 30-year-old's career in Columbus came to an end on June 30 when the club placed him on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract. Boll became a free agent and agreed on a two-year contract with the Ducks on July 5. Boll caught up with Blue Jackets media members after he came off the ice this morning and shared his thoughts on facing his former club for the first time.
"I've never gone through this, playing against a former team pretty much in any level," said Boll, who recorded 62 points (27g/35a) with 1,195 penalty minutes in 518 games with the Jackets. "It's a little different, little bit of nerves, but I'm excited. After that puck drops and you take your first shift, you kinda forget about it and try to win another hockey game."
Boll skated in a season-high 9:08 TOI in Wednesday's 6-1 victory over the Nashville Predators and recorded his first point (assist) with the Ducks on October 20 at Philadelphia.
Getzlaf Hopeful to Return
Barring a setback, Ryan Getzlaf will return to the lineup tonight. He took line rushes this morning with Nick Ritchie and Corey Perry after missing Wednesday's game due to injury. John Gibson will likely get the start with Dustin Tokarski serving as the backup. Gibson is undefeated in his past three starts while allowing just one goal in each of his past two appearances.
Tonight marks the bookend of a back-to-back set for the Blue Jackets (2-3-1, 5 pts.), who fell 3-1 last night in San Jose. Goal scoring has been an issue for the Jackets through six games. Entering tonight's contest, Columbus has the second-fewest goals this season (14) - one more than the 30th-ranked New Jersey Devils.
Despite their early-season struggles, Carlyle says work ethic will never be questioned with the Blue Jackets. "They have a hockey club that's working extremely hard," he said. "The one thing I've noticed is the scoring chances over the last four or five games, they've really tried to cut those down. They're being much more conservative with what they're doing on the ice. They're not pinching their defense quite as much as I would've expected early in the year."
The Jackets are relying heavily on rookie standout defenseman Zach Werenski, who shares the team lead in goals (2) and points (5). Werenski was selected in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft and became the first rookie in franchise history to post points in four consecutive games to begin his NHL career. Ironically enough, Werenski was the second player to begin his Blue Jackets career with a four-game point streak. Who was the first player? Antoine Vermette, who recorded six points (3g/3a) in his first four games with the Jackets from March 7-13, 2009.
Sergei Bobrovsky has started every game for Columbus this season, so it remains to be seen if backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney gets the start tonight.
Potential Line Combinations