In what might be an effort to save his job, Ken Hitchcock has finally done what he should have done weeks ago – elevate Jakub Voracek to the top line to play with Rick Nash. Voracek, arguably Columbus’s most consistent forward this season, has 21 points and is a -7 on the season. Most of that -7 can be attributed to Columbus’s terrible play in December where he is a -6.
The importance of this to you readers is that Voracek becomes a very good RW2 or RW3 option in most fantasy leagues, if he hasn’t already been picked up. He’s 5th on the team in shots on goal, and almost always seems to generate three or four prime scoring chances per game, no matter who he is with. Having Nash on his opposite wing may increase that number, or at least change the word “chances” to “goals”.
The Chimera experiment failed and Kristian Huselius has started to eat his Purina Dog Chow in Hitchcock’s doghouse, opening the door for the young Czech to get a chance. Voracek is one of Columbus’s quicker forwards and one of the few who can play up to Rick Nash’s level.
Look for Voracek and Nash to benefit from 93’s promotion and keep an eye for Derick Brassard to get the same promotion shortly. While Brassard has really underachieved this season, Antoine Vermette is mired in a brutal funk tallying just one even strength assist since December 3 and being a -2 for a game four separate times in that span.
Also of note in Columbus, Coach Hitchcock will be playing Press Your Luck with his goaltenders hoping to avoid a double Whammy. Both Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon are considered equals on the depth chart and will be in a “win or sit” scenario. Hitch will ride the hot hand for as long as its hot. Garon gets the nod tonight in Phoenix.
Check out Columbus’s team lineup page: http://www.dailyfaceoff.com/team-lineups/columbus-blue-jackets-team-lineup for tonight’s other changes.