Blue Jackets end their 3-games in 15 days series against Toronto tonight at 7

By Joe “Big Head” Coopersmith

Maple Leafs to Watch

«  RW Mitch Marner has tallied 13-23-26 in 32 games this season, including 4-7-11 in his past eight outings.  He has posted 7-17-24 in 18 career appearances vs. the Jackets, including 0-2-2 in last Saturday’s game in Columbus.

«  C Auston Matthews, who has notched 12-5-17 in his past eight appearances, leads the league in goals and ranks second on the Maple Leafs in points with 28-14-42 in 31 outings this season.

«  RW William Nylander, who leads the Maple Leafs in assist and points and ranks fifth in the NHL in points and eighth in assists with 16-30-46 in 32 appearances this season, has registered assists in nine-straight outings (13) and points in 12 consecutive games (4-15-19).


All-Time Series

«  Columbus has gone 18-19-1 in 38 all-time meetings vs. the Maple Leafs, including 7-11-0 at home.

«  Toronto has won five of the last six games at Nationwide Arena since Dec. 28, 2018 after CBJ went 5-3-0 at home from Oct. 25, 2013-Nov. 23, 2018.

«  The winning team has scored four or more goals in 13 of the past 14 meetings dating back to Feb. 14, 2018 with the lone exception being a 3-0 Maple Leafs victory on Feb. 10, 2023.

«  The road team is 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings of the series, including winning both of the games of the 2023-24 season series.

«  Six of the last nine games in the series have been decided by a single goal.

«  CBJ have scored a power play goal in three of their last five home games against the Leafs (3-for-17; 17.6 pct.).

«  The Blue Jackets own two of the three shutouts in the all-time series with the most recent CBJ feat recorded by Sergei Bobrovsky (35 saves) in a 5-0 victory at Nationwide Arena on Apr. 8, 2015.

«  Both teams have registered a hat trick in the series with Tyler Wright scoring three for the Jackets in a 4-3 OTW at Nationwide Arena on Oct. 27, 2002.

This Season (CBJ, 1-1-0)

«  Dec. 14, 2023 – CBJ 6, at TOR 5 (OT)

«  Dec. 23, 2023 –TOR 4, at CBJ 1,

«  Dec. 29, 2024 – at COLUMBUS (7 p.m. ET)

Defenseman David Jiricek has been playing well for Columbus (courtesy Blue Jackets Communications)

Player Notables vs. Maple Leafs

«  LW Johnny Gaudreau – 7-11-18 in 26 career GP, recording points in his last two contests (1-1-2) and with 2-5-7 in his past eight outings vs. the Maple Leafs overall.

«  D David Jiricek – 0-2-2 in 2 career GP, notching 1st career multi-assist game in the club’s 1st meeting of the season.

«  LW Kent Johnson – 3-3-6 in 5 career GP, registering all of his points over his last four meetings.

«  C Jack Roslovic – 2-2-4 in 10 career GP, notching points in each of his last two games against the Leafs (1-1-2).


  • Columbus has recorded points in ten of its last 17 games (7-7-3) following a 4-3 OT loss to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.
  • The Blue Jackets, after playing 9-of-13 at home from Nov. 27-Dec. 23 won’t play more than one game at home or on the road over an eight-game stretch from Dec. 27-Jan. 13 when they kick off a three-game homestand.
  • CBJ opened the season with a league-high 30 games in the first 60 days.  Following the game against the Panthers on Dec. 10, the club plays just eight times over the final 21 days of the month of December.
  • The Blue Jackets have scored the first goal of the game in ten of the last 17 and 12 of the past 20 games this season.
  • CBJ have played 15 one-goal games this season, including three of the last five, with another five contests as two goal finishes thanks to the addition of empty net goals (MR: Nov. 29 vs. Montreal).
  • The Blue Jackets rank second in the NHL with 82 goals scored at 5-on-5 play this season, trailing only Vancouver (89).
  • Columbus ranks fourth in the NHL with 38 first period goals and eighth-T in first period goal differential (+7).
  • The club has combined for 475 blocked shots over the past 25 games since Nov. 6 and leads the NHL in blocked shots (684).
  • Blue Jackets blueliners have combined for 6-39-45 over the past 20 contests.  They rank fourth among NHL defensive units in assists and sixth in points with 12-72-84 in 36 games this season.  The club also leads the League in assists percentage (39.1 pct.) and ranks fifth-T in points percentage (28.5 pct.) recorded by its defense.
  • CBJ’s rookie class has combined for 16-31-47 in 36 games this season and ranks second among teams’ rookies in goals, assists and points.  The Blue Jackets are the only team in the league to have two rookies with 17 or more points in 2023-24 (Fantilli-21, Voronkov-17).
  • The Blue Jackets play their fifth of eight Friday games this season when they host the Maple Leafs.  The club has won its first four Friday contests (three at home).
  • The club plays its sixth of 13 back-to-back sets this season when it hosts Toronto on Friday and visits Buffalo (5pm ET) on Saturday.  CBJ are 4-5-1 in back-to-back games in 2023-24 (1-4-0 in 1st game; 3-1-1 in 2nd game).


  • RW Yegor Chinakhov recorded a goal on Wednesday and has now registered points in seven of his last eight games (7-4-11).  During the stretch he set career highs with a four-game goal streak from Dec. 8-16 and six-game points streak from Dec. 8-21 (6-4-10).  He has tallied 9-5-14 with four multi-point games in the past 14 outings to rank third-T in the NHL in goals since Nov. 27, trailing only Auston Matthews (14) and Nathan MacKinnon (12).
  • Justin Danforth has notched goals in two-straight games for the second time this season (also Oct. 20-21).  He has collected 3-2-5 in the last eight games and has already set single-season career highs in assists and points with 9-7-16 in 36 outings this season.
  • Adam Fantilli has collected assists in two consecutive games and four of the past five (1-4-5).   He has recorded 5-6-11 in 12 December games and sits one goal (Balastik, 6 in 2005) and one point (Dubois, 12 in 2017) shy of tying the franchise record for most goals/points by a rookie in the month of December.  The 2023 third overall pick ranks third among NHL rookies in goals and points and fifth-T in assists with 9-12-21 in 36 appearances this season.
  • LW Johnny Gaudreau had his season-high five-game points streak (2-5-7) snapped on Wednesday.  He has registered 5-11-16 with four multi-point outings in his last 19 contests after collecting 1-5-6 in the first 17 games of the season.
  • David Jiricek has collected assists in three of his last five games played (0-4-4) after picking up an assist on Wednesday. He ranks fourth among rookie NHL blueliners in assists and points (tied) with 1-8-9 in 30 contests.
  • Kent Johnson has posted 3-5-8 with three multi-point efforts in his last nine games and has totaled 4-7-11 in 20 appearances this season.
  • RW Kirill Marchenko has collected 5-2-7 in the last eight contests and 9-3-12 in his past 17 games.  He is tied for the team lead in goals and ranks third-T in points with 13-8-21 in 34 contests this season.  He has already set a new career high in assists after posting 21-4-24 in 59 contests during his 2022-23 rookie campaign.
  • Alexandre Texier collected an assist on Wednesday and has registered 1-3-4 in the last five outings.
  • LW Dmitri Voronkov has registered 1-4-5 in his last eight games and 3-4-7 over the past 14 contests.  He ranks sixth-T among NHL rookies in points, seventh-T in goals and eighth-T in assists with 6-11-17 in 30 games this season.
  • Zach Werenski, who left Wednesday’s game with a lower body injury, has recorded 0-10-10 in the last 13 games.  He leads the club in assists, points and time on ice with 1-24-25 and 24:04 TOI in 34 contests this season.  He ranks sixth-T among league blueliners in assists and second among all NHL skaters in even-strength assists (19), trailing only Vancouver’s Filip Hronek (20).



  • LW Johnny Gaudreau is four points from 100 for his Blue Jackets career (27-69-96, 116 GP).
  • Spencer Martin is one game from 50 for his NHL career (16-24-6, 49 GP).
  • Zach Werenski is 10 assists from 200 for his NHL career (80-190-270, 450 GP).


  • Jack Roslovic (fractured ankle) is on Injured Reserve on Nov. 13 (4-to-6 Weeks); 21 games
  • Adam Boqvist (shoulder strain) is on Injured Reserve retroactive to Dec. 5 (Approx. 4 Weeks); 9 games
  • Boone Jenner (fractured jaw) is on Injured Reserve retroactive to Dec. 9 (Approx. 6 Weeks); 8 games
  • Patrik Laine (clavicle fracture) (Approx. 6 Weeks); 5 games
  • Nick Blankenburg (upper body); 3 games
  • Sean Kuraly (abdominal injury) day-to-day; 1 game