Rimer's Game Day Ramblings - Feb. 5
Well, after a "gutty" team effort last night in Detroit the Blue Jackets get right back at it tonight at Nationwide hosting the Edmonton Oilers.
Steve Mason undoubtedly was the story last night at Joe Louis Arena. Mason turned aside all 34 Red Wing shots to record his third career shutout against the Central Division leaders and the team's first ever in Detroit.
Mason, who was pulled from his previous start against Chicago Tuesday after 40 minutes, looked much more comfortable in the net last night. He was out on the edge of the crease challenging the shooters, not overplaying the puck and had superb control of his rebounds. Coach Scott Arniel said after the game that "Mase looked big in the nets." And he did! He was under control not guessing and he was rightfully named the games first star.
With last night's effort Mason has earned tonight's start against the Oilers and the Jackets can not take Edmonton lightly. The CBJ need points and they need to put a string of wins together if they intend on climbing back in the playoff hunt.
The team will for the most part not skate today so we will not likely find out until the pre-game warm up if 2009 first round pick John Moore will be making his NHL Debut tonight. It's an interesting dilemma for Coach Arniel. Does he go with the same lineup that played well last night in Detroit or does he put not only the youngster Moore in the lineup, but what does he do with Kristian Huselius?
Huselius, goalless in seven games and not playing well, was a healthy scratch last night. No doubt Arniel and the coaching staff will wrestle with those decisions most of today.
The third and fourth lines were very effective last night, not only limiting Detroit's scoring chances but creating some of their own. Jared Boll got the all important second goal for the Jackets and Andrew Murray chipped in the empty netter. Antoine Vermette scored what proved to be the game winner in the first period on a heads up play by rookie Matt Calvert, who hung on to the puck for some time until Vermette was able to come from the bench step over the blueline and deliver a one-timer.
Coach Arniel's decisions on the lineup tonight will be unveiled to you 7 p.m. at Nationwide. If you can make it down to the arena, tune in on FOX Sports Ohio in HD at 6:30 p.m. for Blue Jackets Live.
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blog - Rimer's Game Day Ramblings. The Columbus Blue Jackets' television play-by-play man will try to keep you updated on all the season action through his blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.