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Blue Jackets At Blues Game Preview: Dubinsky Serves Suspension For Dubious Hit

The Blue Jackets will be without a key player tonight thanks to a very dumb decision.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Cross checking is generally frowned upon in hockey. If a ref sees you, you will get a two minute penalty and put your team down a guy.

Cross checking to the back of the head or neck area of a player who has a history of concussions and neck problems is also bad. It will probably get you a call from NHL Player Safety and possibly a fine.

Cross checking Sidney Crosby will get you this:

Needless to say, Brandon Dubinsky will not be playing against the Blues tonight.

He wasn't much of a factor in the Blue Jackets' 3-1 win over the Blues earlier this month. The second game of a back-to-back, the game was decided by an energy factor that the Blues just didn't seem to have. After the loss, Jay Bouwmeester had this to say:

"They're a hard-working team. That's what you expect on a back-to-back. Against a team like that, you have to keep it simple and wear them down.

"It was one of those games we wish we could have been better, but that's a hard-working group over there. You know what you're going to get. They don't really give you time to make plays or any easy ice."

The Blues are the rested ones now, with the Blue Jackets coming off of an overtime victory against the Penguins last night. Some Blues are more well-rested than others. Joel Edmundson is back in tonight after being a healthy scratch for the last two games, and Scottie Upshall will play for a struggling Dmitrij Jaskin.

The Blues play the Jackets well at home, where they are 28-9-2 all time against Columbus, and they have several players who have hot streaks going against tonight's opponents. Surprisingly, it's Magnus Paajarvi who has had the most success, with 11 points in 11 games played (six goals, five assists), but he isn't the only Blue who has a target on the Columbus net. Vladimir Tarasenko has three goals and two assists in his last five games against the Jackets, Alex Pietrangelo has a goal and three assists in his last five, and Kevin Shattenkirk has a goal and two assists in his last three. Paul Stastny, injured the last time these two teams met, has a goal and two assists in his last five games against Columbus, and has provided a welcome jolt to the Blues since his return.

The set up tonight for the Blues is a good one - Columbus should (in theory) be easily tired, they allow over three goals a game on average, and their team's save percentage is .897. It's up to them to capitalize on it and take two much needed two points.