Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 3/12/13
Mmmm Grilled UmmmmBurger Maybe the concern over losing to “lowly” Columbus in overtime was unjustified. After all, with a win tonight they’re just two points behind the Canucks. The Blue Jackets are red hot, having won five in a row, while the Canucks have won three of their last eleven. By the run of play, a Jackets win tonight isn’t out of the question, but imagine the uproar if it happens. Matchup: Vancouver Canucks (11 – 7– 6) v Columbus Blue Jackets (10– 12–4) Venue: Nationwide Arena Time: 4:00 pm PT TV/Radio: Sportsnet, Team 1040 Game Notes It’s the second meeting in six days for the Blue Jackets and Canucks, who also have a final date scheduled at the end of the month. You’ll remember that game as the one the Canucks sleepwalked through before fatally allowing Matt Calvert to go for a skate in overtime. Sergei Bobrovosky was amazing, and the Columbus penalty kill had killed off eighteen straight powerplays after the game. Tonight is a do-over. What to watch: Columbus The Jackets took the ‘Hawks to overtime to begin March and have used that as a springboard to roll off five straight, including two over the Red Wings. It’s enough to boost Columbus into the tail-end of the packed Western Conference playoff picture. Six points now separates third from dead last in the conference. Columbus is doing it because Bobrovosky was named first star of the week after posting a GAA of 0.72, a save percentage of .972 and one shutout. This game is really his to lose. It’s the second meeting in six days for the Blue Jackets and Canucks Line-up R.J. Umberger-Ryan Johansen-Nick Foligno Matt Calvert-Brandon Dubinsky-Cam Atkinson Derek Brassard-Mark Letestu-Vinny Prospal Colton Gillies-Nick Drazenovic-Jared Boll Fedor Tyutin-Jack Johnson Tim Erixon-Adrian Aucoin Nikita Nitikin-Daulton Prout Sergei Bobrovsky What to watch: Vancouver And so it’s come to this. The Canucks are struggling, but help is on the way. Their two biggest deficiencies, an effective centre and the powerplay, are getting a boost from two new faces. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your saviours Andrew Ebbett and Cam Barker. Oh no wait. The Canucks look like a team in need of outside help, a change to the mix that will alter their rhythms and their patterns. With the trade deadline a month away, the question before Canuck fans is this: What is more valuable to the success of this team right now, Roberto Luongo or the reinforcements from a Luongo trade? Hanging on to two quality goaltenders is a luxury, except when you need to plug some holes in other parts of the line-up. And maybe the goalie you trade isn’t Luongo. Remember, Mike Gillis traded Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian last trade deadline, so anything is on the table here in the run up to the league’s most chaotic day. Line-up Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Alex Burrows David Booth-Chris Higgins-Zack Kassian Mason Raymond-Andrew Ebbett-Jannik Hansen Tom Sestito-Maxim Lapierre-Dale Weise Dan Hamhuis-Jason Garrison Chris Tanev-Alex Edler Andrew Alberts-Cam Barker Roberto Luongo Injuries After Andrew Alberts nailed Derek Dorsett into the net last week, the Columbus winger winger is out for the year with a fractured clavicle. Brandon Dubinsky is expected to return tonight from a knee injury, but blueliners John Moore and James Wisniewski remain on the IR. Kevin Bieksa will miss yet another game with his groin troubles while Keith Ballard appears to be over his charley horse but still in the doghouse. Prediction I really hope they come out of tonight with two points. Gameday Tweets ICYMI: Hey fans…when is it the right time for Van City to make a trade nwsportsbeat.com/canucks/vancou… via @mitchemdee #Canucks #Vancouver — Q Smith (@NWSBQ) March 12, 2013 Roberto Luongo gets the start for the #Canucks Tuesday against Columbus. — Sportsnet Pacific (@SNETPacific) March 11, 2013 In the final game of this road trip, #Canucks face the Blue Jackets in Columbus tonight at 4:00PM. v.canucks.com/XG5bVL — Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) March 12, 2013 #Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has a three game goal scoring streak. His career high is four games. — Sportsnet Pacific (@SNETPacific) March 12, 2013 AV on blueline: “We’re looking right now at maybe putting Barker in for the power play. Ballard out would be a possibility.” #canucks — Elliott Pap (@ElliottPap) March 12, 2013 222:48 consecutive playing time for the #Canucks without holding a lead heading into Columbus. — Sportsnet Pacific (@SNETPacific) March 12, 2013 Kuze is fired up: Vigneault must shoulder blame for lethargic, ineffective, comfortable club shar.es/ebQJe via @benkuzma — Jason Botchford (@botchford) March 11, 2013 To say that Jim Robson is ‘Forever a Canuck’ would be an understatement. v.canucks.com/X0T2ab — Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) March 12, 2013 No Bieksa for #canucks tonight. Ebbett w/Raymond+Hansen, Higgins between Booth+Kassian. Luongo starts. Barker may be in for Ballard. — Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) March 12, 2013 Please don’t forget to set your clocks forward to 8 past Luongo tonight….. #k #thanks —Strombone (@strombone1) March 10, 2013 New Post Up! ICYMI Canucks lose another! This time to the Wild – #Wild #Vancouver #Canucks nwsportsbeat.com/canucks/vancou… — Northwest SportsBeat (@NWSportsBeat) March 11, 2013 CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY ON NWSB!
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