It is no surprise that the Columbus Blue Jackets are last in the Western Conference in power play percentage, they are near the bottom every year. Tonight they play in Vancouver against the Canucks who have one of the league’s best power plays. They have scored on 25% of their chances and amassed 28 goals on the power play this season. The Blue Jackets have scored on 14 goals with the advantage, but only register a 11.7% rate. Something needs to improve if they plan on getting two points tonight in Vancouver.
The Vancouver Canucks (16-8-4) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (16-11-2) are two teams heading in opposite directions. The Blue Jackets have been reeling the last ten games (3-5-2) and the Canucks are moving up the Western Conference standings the last ten (6-3-1). Hendrik Sedin has been killing teams on the power play with half of his 16 goals on the season coming on advantage. Daniel Sedin has played well lately with 12 points in his last eight games. Their defense has been stopping shots from even getting to Roberto Luongo, so the Blue Jackets could have trouble getting shots on goal tonight. The Canucks were 3-1 against the Blue Jackets last season.
The good news for Columbus is that Kristian Huselius will be back on the ice tonight. He has been out and the Blue Jackets could use his leadership and offensive ability tonight. Rick Nash has been hot with 4 goals and 7 points in his last four games. They will need more than just him contributing tonight if they want to earn a win in regulation.
Mathieu Garon will face Roberto Luongo in the net tonight. Garon has not have much luck in Vancouver with 2-5 record and 3.68 GAA. Steve Mason has been worse with a 2-2 record and 4.64 GAA, so coach Scott Arniel might want to keep Garon out there.
The game starts at 10pm EST tonight and should be fun to watch. If the Blue Jackets can lasso the Sedin brothers and push the puck across the blue-line, they could stay in this contest. If Vancouver gets out to an early lead, Columbus will have trouble if the Canucks go into a defensive mode.