Game 15 Preview And Open Thread: Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets

Puck Drop: Nov. 7, 7:30 PM CST

Chicago Blackhawks
Record: 7-7-0
Points: 14
Place: t-3rd in Central, t-7th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 18.8%, 5th in West, 13th in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 79.4%, 12th in West, 19th in NHL
Blackhawks Team Statistics


Columbus Blue Jackets
Record: 8-3-2
Points: 18
Place: 2nd in Central, t-4th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 15.7%, 11th in West, 21st in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 94%, 1st in West, 1st in NHL
Blue Jackets Team Statistics

The Blue Jackets have gotten off to a hot start this year, and haven't lost in regulation in their last 6 games (5-0-1). They are a young team that is definitely on the rise, kind of similar to the Blackhawks.

Rick Nash, Nikolai Zherdev and Sergei Federov are some of the big names on offense that they feature, and all of them have gotten off to good starts offensively. I think Nash needs to be the focal point for the Hawks' D; he's a big, physical power forward at 6'4, 218 pounds, and the Blackhawks can't really match his size with their blueliners. They're going to have to find a way to stop him from wreaking havoc in front of the net.

In goal, Pascal Leclaire has been fairly dominating for Columbus, giving up just 10 goals in 9 games, leading him to a sparkling 7-2 record and 1.12 goals against average. The Hawks are going to have to get the puck on net often and drive to the net in order to get enough past Leclaire for a victory.

As always, this is an open thread for game discussion, so if you're listening/watching this match-up, go ahead and create an account and leave some comments on the game!

The Blackhawks' lineup tonight is as follows:

1st line: LW Perreault - C Lang - RW Williams
2nd line: LW Ruutu - C Toews - RW Kane
3rd line: LW Bourque - C Bolland - RW Sharp
4th line: LW Burish - C Adams - RW Lapointe
1st pairing: Vandermeer/Seabrook
2nd pairing: Keith/Sopel
3rd pairing: Byfuglien/Wisniewski

Healthy Scratches: Johansson, Samsonov, Richmond
Injured Reserve: Havlat, Zyuzin, Koci

Thank god the "Adam Burish on the top line" experiment is over. Also, is Sergei Samsonov ever going to play again? Now the fifth straight game he has been a healthy scratch. I don't think sitting in the press-box for this long is going to help him much, one game or maybe two was enough.