Big weekend at Nationwide begins tonight as Jackets host the Los Angeles Kings before a 5 p.m. start Sunday against the Nashville Predators. The Blue Jackets look to bring a halt to a two game losing streak against the Kings who arrived in town towing a five game losing skid of their own!
After this morning's pre-game skate Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock reiterated the teams need to get offense from others than simply relying on Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev. Both players are on negative points streaks... Nash is pointless in five and Zherdev pointless in three... But to quote Hitch here "It's not just the Rick and Nik show... we need others to contribute as well."
Personally, I think tonight is the night the two get it going and as Hitch says others need to join the parade as well!!!! Nash, as I mentioned has gone five consecutive games without a point. In Nash's entire NHL career he has never gone more than five straight games without a point! With the Kings in town, this might just be what the Doctor ordered. In Rick's last ten games against the Kings... he has 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points and is a plus 4, not to mention he has really worked hard in practice this week.
Good news starting to come on the injury front... David Vyborny returns to the lineup tonight and will play on a line with Zherdev and Novotny. Look for Mike Peca to return Sunday against Nashville. The Predators host the same Kings tomorrow night looking to end a five game losing streak of their own before flying to Columbus.
Duvie Westcott is tonight's healthy scratch joining Fredrik Modin in the press box. Freddie looked good this morning on the Nationwide Ice and should rejoin his teammates for practice after the two day Christmas break. With Westcott out this evening... look for Ron Hainsey to return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch against Calgary.
*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 12/27 @Nashville.