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Blogging from the Desert

by Jeff Rimer / Columbus Blue Jackets

February 7

Coach Ken Hitchcock has teamed Rick Nash with interesting linemates this evening. Nash has scored six goals and added five assists in his last four games here in the Desert, not to mention his highlight reel goal last time here... the game winner with :21 seconds remaining in regulation.

At any rate Rick will be flanked by Manny Malhotra at center and Dan Fritsche on the right wing. I asked Hitch about the thinking behind Nash's new linemates and he offered that Rick is back to normal... feeling much better with the effects of the bronchitis behind him and wanted him to have some speed with him to hopefully get him the puck.

As expected, Fredrik Norrena gets the start in goal and Hitch expects a strong game from Norrena after a lengthy discussion yesterday with goalie coach -- Clint Malarchuck. Hitch offers that with Norrena not playing as often as he had last season he was thinking too much and simply needs to be focused and not worried about things he cannot control.

Another interesting change tonight sees David Vyborny move to center and I asked Hitch about that switch too! His response is he thinks tonight and tomorrow against the Coyotes and the Sharks Vyborny's smarts will work to his favor as a player in the middle... what with the open ice in the neutral zone.

Joakim Lindstrom will play tonight with Vyborny and Gilbert Brule.


*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 2/8 @San Jose.

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