Greetings from the Canadian Capital!
The Blue Jackets continue their swing through Eastern Canada tonight with a game against the Co-leaders in the east... the Ottawa Senators. After this morning's skate Coach Ken Hitchcock said he hoped to have a full line-up ready to avenge Tuesday's disappointing loss in Toronto but wouldn't know for sure until game time. Healthy lineup permitting we could see David Vyborny back at center between Rick Nash and Fredrik Modin... one of many fighting the flu and bronchitis or perhaps Sergei Fedorov in the mix if he is healthy enough to go. In all there are four or five players fighting it right now... and it could play a role if Jiri Novotny returns to the lineup tonight or gets another day or two off before returning to the lineup Saturday in Montreal.
Hitch told the team in his pre-skate meeting that the M.O. tonight is to keep the puck out of the CBJ zone as much as possible against the high-scoring Senators who are a threat on the power play, not to mention their great ability to score at even strength.
Kris Russell feeling much better will return to the lineup after missing three games and he should help in the transition game.
The key tonight is for the Jackets to get the first goal... and play with the lead something they have had difficulty getting of late (20-3-5 when scoring first)... Hitch feels the team has struggled lately when trailing and they seem to play much better when they are ahead.
Pascal Leclaire with a number of family and friends in the building tonight will get the start and Leclaire is also expected to get the start in Montreal Saturday where he is expected to up the ante and purchase no less than 25 tickets for the game on GM Bob Gainey night... the evening the Canadiens retire their former captain's jersey No. 23.
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings". The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcasters will try to keep you update on all the behind the scenes action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets hit the road. The next road game is 2/23 @Montreal.