Oilers-Blue Jackets Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers have the two worst
records in the Western Conference, so it’s hardly surprising that
their coaches were unhappy with the players’ efforts in their last
The clubs conclude their season series Monday night as the Blue
Jackets hope to get Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius back in the
Columbus (27-31-11) played without Nash, who has a team-high 57
points, and Huselius, third with 49, in a 5-1 home loss to St.
Louis on Saturday. The Blue Jackets were outshot 26-11 through two
periods as they trailed 3-0.
“We didn’t do what we needed to do for 60 minutes,” interim
coach Claude Noel said. “The checking had to be a bigger part of
our game. In the second, they stepped it up and it looked like we
chased the pace. We gave them chances and they didn’t miss
Edmonton coach Pat Quinn was saying essentially the same thing
after his club fell 6-4 to the Maple Leafs in his return to Toronto
on Saturday. The Oilers fell behind 5-1 in the second period,
allowing three goals in a 1:26 span.
“It wasn’t good enough for us for sure,” Quinn said. “As it
started to slip away, we probably lost a couple of more guys. A few
guys played hard tonight, but not enough.”
Nash missed the last three games with a lower-body injury and
Huselius sat out three of the last four with an upper-body injury.
Noel believes both may return Monday.
Nash has a team-high nine power-play goals and Huselius eight,
and they were sorely missed against the Blues. Columbus went 0 for
6 with the man advantage.
“We weren’t getting any shots,” Noel said.
The Blue Jackets have not had many shots on goal overall in
recent games, with 21 in a 2-1 win over Atlanta on Thursday and a
season-low 11 in a 6-0 defeat at Los Angeles last Monday.
Edmonton (21-40-7) allowed an average of 35.0 shots in its last
six games. Jeff Deslauriers was pulled after giving up five goals
on 28 shots through two periods Saturday, with replacement Devan
Dubnyk stopping 17 of 18.
“It’s not the result we wanted,” Deslauriers said. “Every time
you go out there, you’re always trying to win the game.”
Dustin Penner had a goal and two assists and Andrew Cogliano had
one of each for the Oilers, 0-3-1 in their last four road
Edmonton gave up three power-play goals – two on 5-on-3
“We took way too many penalties,” Penner said. “It kind of
ruined the flow of the game so we were back on our heels most of
The Blue Jackets scored four power-play goals and the Oilers
five in the first three meetings this season. They split two
matchups in Edmonton, and Columbus won 3-2 at home in a shootout