The Jackets will have their two leading scorers in Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius in the lineup. Complimenting them will be regulars Brassard, Modin, Torres, Chimera, Boll and making his Blue Jackets debut Sammy Pahlsson.
The Wild won't be coming with quite as much firepower only dressing regulars Marc-Bouchard, Clutterbuck, Boogard, Gillies, Belanger and Sheppard up front.
Columbus has their three of their biggest guns in the lineup and I just don't see the Wild being able to match them... at least on paper.
Both teams are dressing only two regulars on D with Tyutin and Klesla for the Jackets and Zidlicky and Burns for the Wild.
I give the Wild group the edge offensively but the Jackets the edge defensively.
Looks like Mase will get the start for a couple of periods with Lalande likely to finish up in the 3rd. For the Wild it looks like Harding will go but not sure if Backstrom will clean up.
Gonna go Columbus if it's Mase vs. Harding for the first 40 minutes. If Backstrom gets the start them I give it a push.
Last year's stats are pretty much worthless in the pre-season but I'll throw them out there anyways:
MIN: PP (9th) PK (2nd)
CBJ: PP (30th) PK (13th)
Last year Minnesota made their living on special teams on the PP and that kept them in a lot of games.
Love what Burns and Zidlicky bring them on the backend with the man advantage. This team has enough regulars in the lineup from last year that their PK should continue to be strong.
Special teams are always important but when you are top 10 in both PK and PP then the chances of this game getting decided on in man advantage situations is greater than normal.
The Jackets must stay out of the box and they need to build off their 2 PP goal performance against Pittsburgh. This game is a good measuring stick in terms of special teams for the Jackets.
The Wild always do a nice job of packing their building so there will be some home a nice home ice advantage for the bad guys.
Puck drops at 7: 30 EST. Game can be heard over at BlueJackets.com.
I am unaware of any live streams for this game so please post in the comments if you know of any.