Preview: Blue Jackets visit Philadelphia for miserable battle

It's like the scheduler is telling you to have the night off.

Preview: Blue Jackets visit Philadelphia for miserable battle
Photo Credit: Heather Barry

Several months ago, some people could have projected this to be somewhat interesting game that actually held some importance for either of these teams. The Columbus Blue Jackets were thought to have improved compared to last season and with so much raw and young talent on the roster, the variables were massive. And on the other side, our Philadelphia Flyers were a stupid mess and we were hesitant to even think of them as a team that could win hockey games.

Well, now it's a game between two teams that are out of the playoffs and both fan bases are cheering them on to sink to the bottom of the league to have the maximized chance at landing Connor Bedard or Adam Fantilli – or, even just to bump up their own draft picks in every round.

It's the last home game of the season, everyone.

This is just the 81st game in a long line of games where they have steadily gotten worse to watch and less interesting to think about. Hell, they gave us a little jolt of excitement when they brought Tyson Foerster up to the Flyers and showed us that he seems to be the Real Deal; but right now, there is just not a whole lot of excitement other than the continued presence of players that might not be here come September.

Oh, there is one new guy. On Tuesday, the Flyers announced that they recalled defenseman Adam Ginning to make his NHL debut tonight. Using their last of the allotted post-trade deadline recalls, Philadelphia is using it to give a guy his flowers for an incredibly long journey to get to this point.

Ginning was drafted in the second round in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and finally made his way to North America after playing 216 games in the SHL. He made his AHL debut earlier this season and managed to play a total of 65 games, where he manage to score three goals and 19 points. Again, there isn't much of a future with Ginning being an actual NHL talent, but at this point, why not just give him a special moment?

That's the importance of this game. Letting a guy play his first game in the NHL who might or might not appear in one after this season.

Players to watch

James van Riemsdyk

A new guy is coming in but we're able to be sad about potentially seeing some long-time Flyers play their final home game in Philadelphia. James van Riemsdyk is playing in his 526th game as a Flyer and that will make him tied for 31st all-time in team history. It is wild to think about his two stints here and how it has all come together to be a guy that has played in more games here than Kimmo Timonen, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, and interim general manager Daniel Brière. Wild.

Well, since he is a pending free agent and this team won't be in a position to pay him, the long and segmented road will be coming to an end.

Brendan Lemieux

While we can cry some tears about the middling legacy of van Riemsdyk in Philadelphia, we will be jumping for joy about the thought of never having Brendan Lemieux be on this team again. It has been a miserable month and we cannot wait for it to be over.

Johnny Gaudreau

Everyone knows that to cap off his first campaign in Columbus, Johnny Gaudreau is going to score a couple goals against the team he wanted to and should have signed for last summer. He'll either be electric or invisible.

Projected lineups

Philadelphia Flyers

Joel Farabee – Morgan Frost – Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – James van Riemsdyk
Wade Allison – Noah Cates – Owen Tippett
Nic Deslauriers – Tanner Laczynski – Brendan Lemieux

Ivan Provorov – Cam York
Travis Sanheim – Rasmus Ristolainen
Adam Ginning – Justin Braun

Carter Hart
Felix Sandstrom

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau – Boone Jenner – Kirill Marchenko
Kent Johnson – Jack Roslovic – Trey Fix-Wolansky
Eric Robinson – Sean Kuraly – Liam Foudy
Joona Luoto – Hunter McKown – Emil Bemstrom

Gavin Bayreuther – Andrew Peeke
Adam Boqvist – David Jiricek
Tim Berni – Marcus Bjork

Michael Hutchinson
Jon Gillies

Gameday tunes

I'm going to try to stay on theme and think of bands and artists from the city of the team that the Flyers are facing, but the truth is, there aren't many from Columbus. So, I am deciding that Cinncinnati, Ohio is close enough. I'm going back to the beginning of high school where every indie theater kid wanted to be eclectic and unique and one of the bands a whole lot of them were drawn to was Foxy Shazam.