Skip to main content

At the Rink: Canucks at Blue Jackets

by Craig Merz / NHL.com

COLUMBUS -- John Tortorella will take a second crack at his first home win since becoming Columbus Blue Jackets coach against the previous team he coached, the Vancouver Canucks, on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-O).

Tortorella, hired to replace Todd Richards seven games into the season on Oct. 21, is far less concerned about trying to beat the Canucks, whom he coached to a 36-35-11 record in 2013-14 before being dismissed, than getting the first home victory of the season for the Blue Jackets (4-11-0).

Columbus is 0-5-0 at Nationwide and been outscored 24-10, including a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in Tortorella's first home game Oct. 31 that had the fans booing the performance.

"I want the team to start the correct way," Tortorella said. "Winnipeg, our last home game here, we were sleepy. We weren't ready to go. This is a team (Vancouver) that I believe is going to come quickly and we need to be ready to go."

The Blue Jackets are 4-4-0 under Tortorella, but seven of those games have been on the road. The most recent trip featured wins at the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings before a loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

"Our trip through California, although we didn't win all three, we were consistent in our approach to how we played the game," Tortorella said. "That needs to come right back in our home building."

Columbus captain Nick Foligno is aware of his coach's history with the Canucks (6-4-5) but said that's not the main motivator.

"We'd love to get a win for him, but more important is our first win at home," Foligno said. "I don't think he cares too much about this. He's moved past that whole situation. Now he's the coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"We need to come out and put out a real good effort and I'm sure the fans will be behind us."

They've been patient considering the Blue Jackets were 19-20-2 at home last season.

"We want to make it tough for the opponents in this building and play hard for our fans and ourselves," center Boone Jenner said. "We haven't been as sharp and as good as we've wanted to be at home."

Goaltender Jacob Markstrom will make his season debut for the Canucks, who have lost three straight.

Markstrom was recalled Monday from Utica of the American Hockey League where he had been rehabbing a hamstring injury sustained Oct. 6.

"He's a guy we want to get going," Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said. "It's tough to have that injury. He was fighting it through the exhibitions so we wanted to get him on the ice as soon as we can."

Miller could use the rest because he's played in all but one game.

"We've played Ryan an awful lot, maybe overused him a little bit," Desjardins said.

Here are the projected lineups:

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen

Chris Higgins - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata

Alexandre Burrows - Brandon Sutter - Sven Baertschi

Adam Cracknell - Jared McCann - Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler - Alex Biega

Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Ben HuttonMatt Bartkowski

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Injured: Luca Sbisa (lower body), Brandon Prust (ankle), Christopher Tanev (upper body)

Scratched: Brendan Gaunce, Jake Virtanen

BLUE JACKETS

Scott HartnellBrandon DubinskyBrandon Saad

Boone JennerRyan JohansenNick Foligno

Matt CalvertWilliam KarlssonCam Atkinson

Gregory CampbellAlexander WennbergJared Boll

Jack JohnsonDavid Savard

Fedor TyutinRyan Murray

Kevin ConnautonCody Goloubef

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Injured: David Clarkson (back)

Scratched: Rene Bourque, Dalton Prout

Status report: Tanev participated in the morning skate and there's a possibility he could play.

Who's hot: Dubinsky has three goals and five assists in the past eight games. Hartnell has five goals and two assists in a six-game stretch. … Higgins has a goal in each of the past two games. Daniel Sedin has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past 11 games.

View More