LGD - Game 24: Blue Jackets @ Leafs - Buzzzz

Steve Dangle
November 25 2013 03:19PM

 

I googled "Blue Jacket" and this came up.

The Leafs certainly have their faults, but at the end of the day, they currently sit 3rd in the east with a 14-8-1 record. The Blue Jackets on the other hand need to thank their lucky stars that they switched over to the eastern conference this year. Columbus' 8-12-3 record gives them 19 points. That puts them just four points out of a playoff spot in the east. In the west they'd be 13 points out.

And yet one of Columbus' eight wins this season came in a 5-2 victory over the Leafs in Ohio. Ironically enough, that was Tyler Bozak's last game. he makes his return from injury tonight. 

KEY STATISTICS

  Blue Jackets Leafs
Corsi Close % 46.5% (26th) 43.2% (29th)
5v5 GF/60 1.51 (26th) 2.17 (17th)
5v5 GA/60 2.43 (20th) 1.81 (8th)
PDO 97.9 (27th) 103.2 (5th)
     
  Blue Jackets Leafs
5v4 GF/60 6.09 (16th) 8.55 (4th)
5v4 SF/60 49.2 (22nd) 60.4 (6th)
4v5 GA/60 7.67 (24th) 5.64 (10th)
4v5 SA/60 62. (27th) 64.4 (27th)

As you can see, there really isn't anything the Blue Jackets are particularly good at. The Leafs are beating the Jackets in every category above except for two, and even then, they aren't "beating" the Leafs as much as they both just suck in that category. Yes, #Lumbus has the reigning Vezina Trophy-winner Sergei Bobrovsky, but they can't seem to buy a goal. The Leafs rely heavily on their goaltending too, but their respective beauties snipe ched on tendies wth more frequency.

MAPLE LEAFS LINEUP

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul - Nazam Kadri - David Clarkson
Mason Raymond - Jay McClement - Nikolai Kulemin
Frazer McLaren - Jerred Smithson - Colton Orr

Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson
Jake Gardiner - Cody Franson
Mark Fraser - Morgan Rielly

Three notables here.

1. Tyler Bozak is back.
2. Peter Holland is odd man out tonight with Bozie's return.
3. Paul Ranger remains a healthy scratch. 

BLUE JACKETS LINEUP

Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - Boone Jenner
Matt Calvert - Artem Anisimov - Cam Atkinson
Blake Comeau - Mark Letestu - R.J. Umberger
Sean Collins - Matt Chaput - Jack Skille

Jack Johnson - Ryan Murray
Fedor Tyutin - Nikita Nikitin
Tim Erixon - David Savard

Most notably missing from Columbus' lineup from their 5-2 win over the Leafs is centre Brandon Dubinsky.

*UPDATE: I'm a moron*

They're hurting pretty bad. This isn't the most analytical thing in the world that I could say, but as I was writing out these lineups out I found myself going "WHO?!?!" I haven't paid much attention to the Blue Jackets since last season, so they're odd to look at on paper. Former Canadian World Junior Boone Jenner is on the top line. Blake Comeau's a Blue Jacket? Didn't know that. Jack Skille's a Blue Jacket? Had no idea. And I have literally never heard of Sean Collins in my life. This doesn't mean Columbus is bad and the Leafs have an easy two point though. Toronto lost last time, so whoever the Blue Jackets are, they have to take them seriously.

*UPDATE 2: Dalton Prout is expected to return* 

*UPDATE 3: OH FOR CRYING LOUD*

STARTING GOALIES

James Reimer takes on Sergei Bobrovsky in net. It could be a very low-scoring game. The have Reimer, the league's current save percentage leader with a sparkling .947, and reigning Vezina-winner in *Jay Onrait screaming voice* BOBROVSKY!!! To me, this is a particularly huge game for Reimer. With Jonathan Bernier in town, Reimer's back-to-back start opportunities will be hard to come by unless he continues to shine. He's got to follow up a 49-save performance and fight for control of his own net. It's a high-pressure situation for Optimus.

The Leafs and Blue Jackets play at 7:00pm eastern on Sportsnet Ontario.

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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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