With Cam Janssen a healthy scratch for a second game in a row, the chances of a fight between the Blues and New York Rangers diminished quickly. It eliminated the possibility of Aaron Voros getting his rematch from the drubbing he took from Janssen last February, and it eliminated the possibility of a long-awaited bout between Janssen and Donald Brashear. All records hold steady going into tonight’s game, and The Note, with 40 fights, have dropped to 4th among NHL teams in number of fights. But we’re winning, so it’s an even trade-off. In an unrelated story, Roman Polak is awesome.
You may recall that when the Blues faced the Columbus Blue Jackets last Tuesday, it was quite the violent affair. There were four bouts, with two draws and one win per side. Well, neither team has fought since then, so a lot of pent-up aggression may explode into fisticuffs tonight. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.
We went over Columbus’s fighters and their success (or lack thereof, in their case) on Tuesday, but to recap . . . fight-wise, the Jackets are 6-14-11 on the season. This is mediocre, if not worse. And the majority of their fights are generated from winger Jared Boll (6’2″, 210lbs), who after losing to Janssen on Tuesday is 4-5-5 on the season. Before Tuesday’s game, the only other fight victory (according to Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights) had been from young winger Alexandre Picard (6’2″, 206lbs, 1-0-1 after a draw with BJ Crombeen on Tuesday). However, Rick Nash was (mistakenly, I believe) given the decision over David Backes in what has been Nash’s only fight on the season thus far. Most of Columbus’s other fighters this season have either been traded away, been sent to Syracuse or been put on injured reserve.
Since he’s been scratched for two games in a row and the Blues have won both of those games, we cannot expect Janssen to be in the dream matchup this evening. So instead, I’ll go with a rematch between Nash and Backes or a rematch between Picard and Crombeen. Take your pick – either one would be a blast to watch and would bring all 13 people that show up to Nationwide Arena tonight to their feet (I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Columbus has been having problems drawing people to their games lately . . . probably because they’re not good this year). I would surely expect a fight involving Backes . . . if you haven’t noticed, he’s trying to eliminate Team Canada before he gets to Vancouver. A noble mission, indeed. Godspeed, David.
The Jackets are coming off back-to-back losses to the Chicago Blackhawks (3-0 @ CHI, 6-5 @ CBJ), so they’re sure to be more than a bit perturbed seeing another division rival in their building. The Blues are certainly not an easy win anymore, so expect this to be a fun game to watch. And yes, please do look forward to flying fists this evening . . . I’m in withdrawal here!
LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!
Information obtained via the incomparable Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights.