It's been a rough season for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sitting with a 0-7-1 record, they're off to their worst start in franchise history. The only "silver lining" in the team's losses at this point is the fact that they have yet to be blown out to any large degree. Five of their eight games were only decided by one goal and, at the very least, it shows that the entirety of the team isn't something that should just be scrapped in favor of a clean slate.
Unfortunately, their biggest loss this season, a 5-2 affair on the road against the Detroit Red Wings, will probably be in their head on Tuesday, when they host the very same Red Wings. They lost on Oct 21 and then dropped a 4-3 affair to the Ottawa Senators on Oct 22. There will be a couple differences between the first game and the game on Tuesday night, though.
For one, starting goalie Jimmy Howard is out so he can spend time with his wife and their new child (their first). Ty Conklin will get the start in his place, and he's coming off a game in which he gave up seven goals on just 25 shots against the Washington Capitals - Detroit's last outing. For two, the Blue Jackets expect to have defenseman James Wisniewski in the lineup for the first time.
Wisniewski signed a six-year, $33 million contract in the offseason and will be making his Columbus debut on Tuesday. He was forced to sit out the first eight games of the regular season after a brutal hit to the head of Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild this preseason. His presence has been sorely missed, he was supposed to be the big catch, the big signings who would tie things together.
We'll see if he's able to do that on Tuesday against a very tough Red Wings team. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. eastern and can be watched on Fox Sports Ohio, as usual.