Blue Jackets Return From Olympic Break, Embark on Three-Game Road Trip
Columbus visits Colorado, Los Angeles and Anaheim this week before returning home on March 7 vs. Chicago
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (23-33-2, 48 pts./3rd Central Division)
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT - ARENA TIME TV/RADIO
Thu., Mar. 2 at Colorado Avalanche, Pepsi Center 9 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 4 at Los Angeles Kings, STAPLES Center 4 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 5 at Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim 4 p.m.
FSN-Fox Sports Net, WBNS-AM (1460), WWCD-FM (101.1); Times are Eastern
THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 to 90 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Feb. 28-Mar. 6 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Wed. – 1 p.m. (Ice Centre at the Promenade, Denver)… Thu. – 11:30 a.m. (Pepsi Center, Denver)… Fri. – 1 p.m. (Toyota Sports Center, El Segundo, CA)… Sat. – No Practice Scheduled… Sun. – No Practice Scheduled… Mon. – No Practice Scheduled… Practice times are local and subject to change. Practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.
ROSTER REPORT: Feb. 13 – Assigned G Andrew Penner, C Ben Simon and C Joakim Lindstrom to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Feb. 7 – Assigned RW Steven Goertzen to Syracuse (AHL).
INJURY REPORT: C Mike Rupp (broken foot, Jan. 16 vs. NY Rangers) is day-to-day… D Bryan Berard (lower back injury, Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota) is out indefinitely.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Colorado Avalanche – 32-21-6, 70 pts. (3rd, Northwest Division)… Fourth of four meetings this season… Columbus is 1-16-2 in the all-time series, including 0-8-1 on the road… Colorado has won all three meetings this season, but the Jackets earned their first point at Pepsi Center in a 3-2 shootout loss on Jan. 7… Head Coach: Joel Quenneville… Players to Watch – C Joe Sakic (21-35-56, 4 GWG in 59 games)… LW Alex Tanguay (24-42-66, 7 PPG in 58 games)… G David Aebischer (22-13-2, 3.12 GAA, .896 SV%, 2 SO in 39 games)… Los Angeles Kings – 32-23-5, 69 pts. (2nd, Pacific Division)… Fourth of four meetings this season… Columbus is 9-9-1 in the all-time series, including 3-5-1 on the road… Kings won the first two meetings this season, including 3-1 at Los Angeles on Oct. 16, before Jackets won 7-4 at home on Feb. 8… Head Coach: Andy Murray… Players to Watch – D Lubomir Vishnovsky (14-42-56, 9 PPG, +10 in 58 games)… C Pavol Demitra (22-35-57, 5 GWG, +22 in 50 games)… G Mathieu Garon (23-15-3, 3.07 GAA, .900 SV%, 2 SO in 44 games)… Anaheim Mighty Ducks – 27-19-11, 65 pts. (3rd, Pacific Division)… Third of four meetings this season… Columbus is 9-7-2 in the all-time series, including 2-5-2 on the road… Both teams have won at home this season, Anaheim 4-3 on Oct. 14 and Columbus 1-0 on Dec. 28… Head Coach: Randy Carlyle… Players to Watch – RW Teemu Selanne (26-28-54, 11 PPG, +20 in 55 games)… C Andy McDonald (19-34-53, 9 PPG, 5 GWG in 57 games)… G Jean-Sebastien Giguere (16-8-10, 2.66 GAA, .910 SV%, 2 SO in 37 games).
WEEK IN REVIEW: Four Blue Jackets Participate in Winter Olympics – Four Blue Jackets represented their countries at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin Italy. RW David Vyborny tallied 1-3-4 in eight games in his Olympics debut and helped the Czech Republic win the bronze medal. He picked up 0-1-1 with a helper on the game-winning score in a 3-0 win over Russia in the Bronze Medal Game. LW Rick Nash and D Adam Foote played for Team Canada, which went 3-2-0 in the preliminary round and suffered a 2-0 loss to Russia in the Quarterfinals. Nash tallied 0-1-1 and 10 penalty minutes in six games, while Foote notched 0-1-1 and six penalty minutes in six games. D Radoslav Suchy made his Olympic debut with Slovakia and collected 1-1-2 in six games, helping his team to a 5-0 record and the top seeding in Group B in preliminary round action. Slovakia was defeated 3-1 by the Czech Republic in the Quarterfinals. One additional Olympic note – Former Blue Jackets D Petteri Nummelin, who tallied 4-12-16 and 10 penalty minutes with the club during the inaugural 2000-01 season, helped Finland win the silver medal.
TEAM NEWS & NOTES: Columbus has 24 games remaining in the 2005-06 regular season, including 13 at home and 11 on the road… The Blue Jackets enter the post-Olympic break having posted a record of 18-14-2 since Nov. 26, including an 11-5-1 mark in their last 17 outings… Columbus is 9-2-0 in its last 11 games at Nationwide Arena and 4-4-1 in its last nine on the road… The club is one road win shy of tying its single season record (9 – 2000-01 [9-24-5-3], 2002-03 [9-28-3-1])… Columbus needs six wins in its final 24 games to match the club record set in 2002-03 (29-42-8-3) and 23 points to match the 71 (28-39-9-6) earned in 2000-01… The Blue Jackets have won seven games this season in which they trailed after two periods, which is one more than in their first four seasons combined.
PLAYER NEWS & NOTES: LW Jaroslav Balastik had a three-game point streak (1-3-4) snapped at Nashville on Feb. 11 in the final game before the Olympic break… D Bryan Berard is two points shy of 300 in his career and needs two goals to match his career-best of 14 (set with NY Islanders in 1997-98)… C Sergei Fedorov has tallied 5-14-19 in his last 19 games… D Ron Hainsey has tallied 1-4-5 and is +2 in his last nine games… C Jan Hrdina is one goal shy of 100 in his NHL career… D Rostislav Klesla has tallied 1-6-7 in his last nine games… RW Trevor Letowski has scored four goals in his last nine games… LW Rick Nash has registered 17-11-28 in 27 games since returning from injury on Dec. 17, including 5-4-9 and a +3 plus/minus rating in his last nine games… RW David Vyborny has collected 9-13-22 in his last 17 games, including 3-10-13 in the last nine. His five game-winning goals are two shy of the club record of seven shared by Rick Nash (2003-04) and Geoff Sanderson (2000-01)… RW Nikolai Zherdev has notched 10-12-22 in his last 23 games and 8-7-15 in his last 16.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Mar. 7 vs. Chicago – Blue Jackets Night Out Presented by QFM96, Ohio's Best Rock: Package includes two tickets, two Nachos and two beers (must be 21-years-old or older with a valid Ohio I.D.) for just $49… Mar. 9 vs. Phoenix – Columbus Zoo Night: Package includes one ticket and one voucher for an exclusive pre-game event with Jack Hanna for just $25. The first 75 package purchasers will also receive a commemorative Jack Hanna bobblehead… Blue Jackets 80s Night: Another package available for the Blue Jackets-Coyotes game includes one ticket, a coupon good for six free wings courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings and free admission to an 80s Party and post-game concert by The Reaganomics at the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion hosted by Mark Dantzer of Mix 97.1… Mar. 11 vs. Edmonton – Chris Cagle Country Combo: Package includes one ticket to the game and one ticket to a post-game concert by Chris Cagle at the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion courtesy of 92.3 WCOL Buckeye Country.
HATS FOR HEROES NIGHT SET FOR MARCH 8 AT bd's MONGOLIAN BARBEQUE: bd's Mongolian Barbeque restaurants are teaming with the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation in its fight against pediatric cancer on Hats For Heroes Night on Wednesday, March 8. In support of the initiative, Blue Jackets players will be meeting fans and signing autographs throughout the night – LW Jody Shelley (6-7 p.m. – Dublin, 6242 Sawmill Rd.), LW Jason Chimera (6:30-7:30 p.m. – Easton Town Center, 3977 Worth Ave.) and C Manny Malhotra (7-8 p.m. – Arena District, 295 Marconi Blvd.). Team broadcasters and Stinger will also be on hand at each location to assist with the festivities.
DUBLIN COFFMAN, UPPER ARLINGTON MEET SATURDAY FOR BERTH IN OHSAA HOCKEY FINALS: For the fourth consecutive year, the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Ice Hockey Semi-Finals and Championship games will be held at Nationwide Arena the weekend of March 11 & 12. For the second time in four years, a team from Central Ohio is sure to be represented as Dublin Coffman and Upper Arlington will meet in a district final game at the Dispatch Ice Haus on Saturday (March 4) at 8 p.m. with the winner advancing to the state finals. The 2006 semifinals are slated for Saturday, March 11 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. with the final played at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. In addition, the Senior All-Star Game will precede the final at 10 a.m. Sunday. For more information on the tournament, log on to www.bluejackets.com/fans/hshockey.php.
JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3 -4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.
TICKET INFORMATION: Individual game and group tickets for Blue Jackets games at Nationwide Arena are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, the Chiller Easton, the Chiller Dublin and Chiller North, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (614) 431-3600 or via the internet at www.BlueJackets.com and ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.