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NHL on NBCSN: Blue Jackets vs Red Wings

Jan 21, 2013, 8:37 AM EDT

Jonathan Ericsson Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets both lost a key player over the summer, but that’s about all they have in common.

The Wings have a history of success, but the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom combined with the off-season departure of fellow blueliner Brad Stuart added new fuel to a question that has followed the team for years: Is the dynasty dying?

Detroit hasn’t made it further than the Western Conference Semi-Finals in the previous three campaigns and they have watch several of the key players from their 2008 Stanley Cup run retire. The Red Wings have done a remarkable job of developing prospects despite their typically unfavorable draft positions, but the salary cap has made it difficult for them to lure big-name outside talent to their franchise.

After losing out on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter over the summer, Red Wings GM Ken Holland seemed to downplay expectations by saying that the team might not make the playoffs for the first time since the 1989-90 campaign.

Expectations are not something the Blue Jackets are plagued with. Even the face of their franchise, Rick Nash, gave up on the team and asked to be traded. With him gone, it would not be shocking if Columbus finished in dead last in the standings for the second consecutive season.

At the same time, the Blue Jackets managed to squeeze out a win in their season opener and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was particularly impressive in his Columbus debut. Bobrovsky had an up-and-down tenure with Philadelphia, but if he can continue to give the Blue Jackets solid performances, they might defy expectations.

The two teams will play tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Probable goaltenders: DET – Jimmy Howard (0-1-0, 7.32 GAA, .821 SV%) | CBJ – Sergei Bobrovsky (1-0-0, 1.85 GAA, .941 SV%)
Top scorers: DET – None (shutout in opener) | CBJ – Fedor Tyutin (0-2-2, 1 GP)
Notable Injuries:
Detroit – Todd Bertuzzi (mono), Darren Helm (back), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Jan Mursak (collarbone), Jakub Kindl (groin), Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder)
Columbus – Ryan Murray (shoulder)

  1. bcsteele - Jan 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Can’t stand Detroit as a Blues fan, however, in the spirit of being unbiased…

    Tonight could be a true gauge about how well off the Red Wings are. The game against my Blues really wasn’t a good judge because they’ve already had significant injury issues and it was their first game back without big Nick in the back. St. Louis has no injuries currently and brought in more offensive talent to an alraedy deep roster. But Detroit did look completely weak at defense and I don’t know who they have that could step up for them because if they don’t fix that soon they’re in trouble.

    All that aside, if they can’t find a way against the Blue Jackets, I’d start worrying…

  2. contraryguy - Jan 21, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    The CBJ were a shootout loss away from splitting the season series with Detroit last year, in fact the home game vs Detroit was their first win of the year. Slumpbuster!

  3. steelers88 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Why would they show Columbus I’d be more interested in watching Sabers vs Leafs or the Panthers vs Senators.

  4. pensfan603 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    This should be an interesting one, Detriot wants to show that they can stay in the playoffs and Columbus wants to tell people they are for real. I tihnk Columbus scores early and the hell breaks lose, but in the end columbus wins the game.

  5. steelers88 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Then I guess I’ll be rooting for Columbus. I hope they have a bounce back season.

  6. east96st - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Dear Red Wings,

    Steve Mason will not be in goal tonight. So, as a result, you may actually have to keep your eyes open when shooting at the Jackets goal. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  7. pariseinminnesotabichez - Jan 21, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Go Blue Jackets tonight!

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