Columbus Blue Jackets Make Final Trip to Joe Louis Arena
Columbus Blue Jackets make their second trip to Joe Louis Arena this year. This will be the Blue Jackets final game played in the historic barn on the banks of the Detroit River.
Tonight will mark the final game the Columbus Blue Jackets will play at historic Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Tonights matchup will not only bear historical significance, but is a prime opportunity for the Jackets to bounce back from Saturday’s disaster.
The final year for the Joe certainly hasn’t been a memorable one for the tenants. The Detroit Red Wings seem certain to miss the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. The Wings sit just one point ahead of last place in the Eastern Conference.
The Jackets are coming off their worst performance of the year against a bottom feeding New Jersey Devils team. The CBJ seemed to think that by showing up they would win two points on home ice. That certainly is not the case and wont be for the rest of the year with so many teams just a handful of points out of the playoffs. This complacency is the cause for the less than stellar January performance and surely has led to higher blood pressure for Coach John Tortorella.
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Playing poorly against inferior opponents
The Jackets haven’t been stellar against inferior opponents this year. The team has a penchant for looking down the standings and then lowing their level of play.
And it’s understandable. It’s a 82 game grind that is the toughest regular season in all of professional sports. The a lower level of play against inferior opponents, like the Red Wings, has become habit. Taking three of four points from the Rangers and Penguins on the road is great, but following losses to the Islanders and Devils sours the victories.
The Blue Jackets have to start showing an ability to consistently put down teams like the Red Wings. The team will still be without David Savard, but having Markus Nativaara will help get the puck out of the defensive zone more cleanly. Josh Anderson will be a game day decision as he is battling sickness. Look for Sergei Bobrovski to be the net-minder tonight. Torts will not be taking anything lightly until this team snaps back to playing constant hockey.
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The Columbus Blue Jackets can not afford to get get caught up in the sentimental thoughts of playing for the last time in hockey’s most famous arenas. Zach Werenski wrote a letter bidding his goodbye to an arena that he credits for him playing hockey. For him, he played hockey to play in Joe Louis.
Growing up only 13 miles north of the Joe, this certainly will be an emotional night for Zach and a memorable one for the rest of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Lets hope they can turn that emotion into a win.