Rimer's Game Day Ramblings - Feb. 18
At this time of the season perception is certainly an important ingredient for a team in the hunt for a playoff berth. It's important for the players, the fans and the other teams in the race.
That said, equally as important as the two points are tonight, is the fact that the matchup is just one of the three games the Blue Jackets will play over the next eight nights. The Jackets don't want to fall further back in the standings while other teams play.
Without question the Blue Jackets worst performance here in the month of February was the game back at Nationwide against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks on the first of the month. Chicago connected on all cylinders on the first of the month, beating the CBJ 7-4. 'Hawks captain Jonathan Toews figured in all three second period goals, scoring once and adding two assists. Toews' goal was shorthanded and one of two the Blackhawks scored on the night. They also connected for a power play goal, while the Jackets failed on their five man advantage chances.
Of course the Blue Jackets have certainly played much better of late and tonight can set a franchise road record with their sixth straight win away from Nationwide - a mark that was established earlier this season, back in November. The CBJ have points in each of their last seven road starts going 5-0-2, which also ties their franchise mark for the longest unbeaten streak in regulation on the road.
Mike Haviland will again be calling the shots behind the Chicago bench tonight in the absence of Head Coach Joel Quenneville who remains in an area hospital with a bleeding ulcer. Haviland won Wednesday in his coaching debut, as the 'Hawks beat the Wild 3-1 at the United Center.
Haviland was very complimentary in describing the Jackets recent play saying, "the Blue Jackets are a hard working team and we have to work extremely hard tonight to get our chances." He is very impressed with the way the Jackets have been playing defensively by not allowing odd man rushes.
Tonight's game in HD begins at 8:30 p.m. Columbus time on FOX Sports Ohio.
*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.