The Blackhawks have a Winnable Game Against Columbus Tonight

Depending on your point of view
Columbus Blue Jackets v Ottawa Senators
Columbus Blue Jackets v Ottawa Senators / Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages

Two of the leagues worst teams will battle tonight as the Columbus Blue Jackets (48 points) will face the Chicago Blackhawks (35 points). Obviously this should / could have been a matchup between 3rd overall pick Adam Fantilli and Blackhawks' 1st overall selection Connor Bedard. Like Bedard (fractured jaw) Fantilli now is in the midst of a long rehab for a calf laceration suffered in late January however.

Fantilli, prior to the injury, was performing well on an underachieving Blue Jackets team with 27 points (12g, 15a) in 49 games. That 45 point (per 82) pace would have been a significant step towards reaching his potential as a true franchise #1 center on a team that so desperately needs a true top line center.

The expectation was for Columbus to compete for a playoff spot this year, fast forward to today and a pre-season coach departure, a firing of a long time GM, and disappoting seasons from their high priced veterans and the Jackets are clearly not on the trajectory fans had hoped for.

Philipp Kurashev, Tyler Johnson
Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

While today represents a winnable game, it is important to note that it looks like backup Arvid Soderblom will be in the crease as well as the top line could have the inclusion of Ryan Donato on Connor Bedard's left side.

Thanks to Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports for the lineup changes this morning. Will Donato help create some scoring chances for the Bedard line or will the Blue Jackets send Chicago to yet another loss? Tune in @8:00 EST on NBC Sports Chicago tonight to find out!