The Jackets are back at home, and are looking to get back to business on home ice after Friday night’s stinker against the Blackhawks. The Ducks are, well, slightly less good than Chicago. We’ll get to the numbers below, but the two most important stats to remember about the Ducks are that they are the second-worst in the league so far in goals-against, and are allowing the most shots per game in the league. Yea, offense! On top of that, the Ducks are actually scoring less than Columbus. Yea, defense!
|LW:||Bobby Ryan||Dan Sexton||Matt Beleskey||Todd Marchant|
|C:||Ryan Getzlaf||Saku Koivu||Ryan Carter||Kyle Chipchura|
|RW:||Corey Perry||Teemu Selanne||Jason Blake||George Parros|
|D:||Toni Lydman||Danny Syvret||Andreas Lilja|
|D:||Lubomir Visnovsky||Sheldon Brookbank||Paul Mara|
Columbus Blue Jackets:
|LW:||Kristian Huselius||Nikita Filatov||Ethan Moreau||Derek Dorsett|
|C:||Antoine Vermette||Derick Brassard||Sammy Pahlsson||Derek MacKenzie|
|RW:||Rick Nash||Jakub Voracek||R.J. Umberger||Chris Clark|
|D:||Jan Hejda||Fedor Tyutin||Rostislav Klesla|
|D:||Nick Holden||Nate Guenin||Marc Methot|
ANA – 2.17 gpg (25th NHL)
CBJ – 2.50 gpg (20th NHL)
ANA – 3.67 gapg (29th NHL)
CBJ – 3.00 gapg (t20th NHL)
ANA – 26.1% (6th NHL)
CBJ – 10.5% (22nd NHL)
ANA – 77.4% (23rd NHL)
CBJ – 76.2% (24th NHL)
This is the first matchup of the season. Columbus finished 3-1-0 vs. Anaheim last season.
10/20/10 – Anaheim @ Columbus – 7:00 PM EDT
11/19/10 – Columbus @ Anaheim – 10:00 PM EST
01/07/11 – Columbus @ Anaheim – 10:00 PM EST
01/25/11 – Anaheim @ Columbus – 7:00 PM EST
A couple of important roster notes for Columbus: Kris Russell may or may not play, and Anton Stralman is probably out. [update] Both are out; Russell was deemed out earlier today, and Stralman was a game-time decision. The Jackets have called up Nick Holden from Springfield on an emergency basis, the second straight game they’ve had to make such an emergency call-up due to injury on the blue-line. It’s unsure who will be in the lineup, as Stralman has practiced, but with a no-contact sweater, and Russell has another lower body injury, though it’s reported it’s not the knee that gave him trouble in the pre-season. Whomever gets the call, the lack of continuity on the blue line is a cause for concern on the corps that has struggled the most to get Scott Arniel’s new system.
Looking more closely at the numbers than I did in the lead, it’s important to note that the Jackets haven’t exactly been setting the world on fire themselves. Another number to consider is that the Ducks are also currently 28th in the league in faceoffs; the Jackets are 11th. This is another considerable advantage, especially as the Jackets look to be more of an offensive puck possession team.
From the looks of the general numbers, the Jackets have a bit of an advantage 5-on-5. But, overall, the teams match up considerably well in three of the four areas we’ve highlighted. The biggest area of concern for Columbus is on special teams, as they can look to get well on their Power Play against another fairly weak PK unit; to this point, the Jackets’ PP is solid in holding and cycling the puck, but not at putting pucks in the net. Conversely, they need to be extra careful tonight to stay out of the penalty box, as the Ducks do possess a solid PP unit themselves.
The biggest concern tonight for Columbus against a team struggling to score like the Ducks are is their top line. The Ducks don’t have the scoring depth, but they do have a solid top line. Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, and Corey Perry have a combined six goals and 13 assists; consider that the entire Duck team has scored just 13 total goals in six games thus far. Three of those goals and five of those assists are on the Power Play. That’s a big chunk of the offense. Getzlaf in particular has been a Jackets-killer throughout his career with eight goals and 16 assists in 19 games against Columbus.
The other nine players on the Ducks’ forward lines have a combined seven goals between them in six games. In short, if the Jackets can take the top line out of the game and stay out of the box as much as possible, they stand a good chance of coming out on top. The Jackets have the luxury of the second line change at home, which means they can put their shut-down third line out against the Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan line, which should help. The Jackets also have a decided advantage in the faceoff circle, which should help to limit some of the Ducks’ puck possession.
At the end of the day, though, it’s going to come down to effort, defense, and goaltending, as it often does in this league. Steve Mason has four career starts against the Ducks, and he’s 2-2 with a so-so 3.02 goals-against average and a pedestrian 88.1% save percentage. In three games (two starts) against the Jackets, Ducks’ net-minder Jonas Hiller is 1-1 with a 2.52 goals-against and a solid 93% save percentage. Here’s hoping Mason and the defense can bounce back from their previous performance at home.
Next Game For The Jackets
Friday, October 22, 2010
7:00 PM EDT
Calgary Flames at Columbus Blue Jackets