With just a handful of games remaining for the Columbus Blue Jackets Mike Reilly Jersey , coach John Tortorella believes the team is in a good place even as its late push to secure a playoff spot has gotten tougher.
With Nick Foligno out of the lineup, the Blue Jackets open a three-game swing across western Canada on Tuesday night against NHL scoring leader Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.
Columbus (42-29-5) is in third place in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blue Jackets are also tied in points with the Philadelphia Flyers for the first wild card, and Columbus has a three-point edge on the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card.
“We have six left and we’ve got some nicks along the way here … you just go play. We don’t talk about it. We just do it. That’s part of our job,” Tortorella said Monday.
The Blue Jackets surged into contention thanks to 10-game winning streak that ended with a 2-1 loss to St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Foligno, who has collected 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in the last 30 games, suffered a lower-body injury and will be sidelined from two to four weeks.
But for Tortorella, it’s business as usual.
“I just don’t want us to lose our swagger Ryan Kesler Jersey ,” he said. “I think we’re in a good spot. I think the guys are feeling good about themselves. You get banged up; you just go about your business. Nick has been very good for us, so we have to fill that hole.”
Brandon Dubinsky (15 points in 56 games) is expected to fill in for Foligno.
Columbus also still has Artemi Panarin, who leads the club in scoring (25 goals, 44 assists), and needs one point to reach 70 for the third straight season. The Russian winger has six goals and three assists in a four-game points streak on the road.
The Blue Jackets have won four straight away from home and seek their third victory in four games in Edmonton. Columbus is also looking for a split of the season series after a 7-2 loss on Dec. 12 in Ohio’s capital city.
To no one’s surprise, McDavid was the driving force in that rout, collecting a goal and three assists.
The Oilers captain solidified his hold as the league’s top scorer after collecting a goal and two assists in Sunday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks that eliminated Edmonton (34-36-6) from postseason consideration.
With six games to play, McDavid has 99 points — two from a career high, and three in front of Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
McDavid Craig Anderson Jersey , who is looking to be the first player to win consecutive Art Ross trophies since Jaromir Jagr won four straight from 1998 to 2001 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was named the league’s First Star of the Week after collecting five goals and five assists in four games last week.
The biggest difference in No. 97 this season compared with last season?
“I see him around the net a bit more. He wanted to do that this year. His sense of timing, arriving on rebounds, having the ability to tap things in,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said recently.
Most likely, McDavid will try to pad his total against Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Since losing three straight starts in early February, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner is 12-4-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average and one shutout. Bobrovsky would also be looking for his fourth straight road win during that span.
Backup Joonas Korpisalo has won three straight starts, allowing a total of nine goals. He is 2-5-0 with a 4.15 GAA on the road in 2017-18.
Edmonton’s Cam Talbot needs one win to reach 30 for the second straight season. He has surrendered 14 goals in his last five games, posting a 4-0-1 record.
Al Montoya (2-2-2 Brendan Leipsic Jersey Kids , 3.24 GAA with the Oilers) missed Sunday’s game with an undisclosed injury. If Montoya can’t go, Laurent Brossoit (3-7-1, 3.22 GAA) would back up Talbot.
We're just over halfway through the 2017-18 National Hockey League (NHL) season and now seems as good a time as any to rank the league's best starting goaltenders. Unlike position players who we can generally predict where they might rank each season, goaltenders are a little difficult; it boils down to health, team defense, and confidence. There's a reason why Carey Price is without question one of the best goaltenders in the world, but comes in extremely low on this list. He's been hurt for an extended period of time, struggled heavily to start the season, and plays for an abysmal Montreal Canadiens team.
In determining this list Nate Schmidt Jersey , we've selected only the goaltenders who have played the most games for their respective team. James Reimer isn't the actual starting goaltender in Florida, but he's played more often than Roberto Luongo, who has been sidelined due to injury. Additionally, Marc-Andre Fleury has played the same amount of games (14) in Vegas as Malcolm Subban, but he's quite obviously their starting goaltender, despite Subban boasting a better record. While save percentage is perhaps the best measure of a goaltender's performance, we've also factored in the team they play for as well as other underlying statistics.
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