GAME 17: BLUE JACKETS VS. AVALANCHE
NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 P.M.
TV: FOX SPORTS OHIO / FOX SPORTS GO
RADIO: CD 102.5 FM & BLUEJACKETS.COM
SETTING THE STAGE: The Blue Jackets know the dangers of getting too far ahead in the midst of their best start in franchise history; from the start of training camp, they've instilled a "one day at a time" mantra within their room, whether it's a practice day, off day, or a game day. It sounds cliché (because it is) but they're okay with that - this is a long season, after all, and staying focused in their No. 1 priority.
Looking up the mountain as they did a year ago can be daunting. On the flip side, overconfidence can be a powerful drug. John Tortorella has entrusted captain Nick Foligno and the team's leadership group to break the season down into microscopic segments so they're ready to go every single game, an approach that becomes even more important in a stretch like they're in right now.
Monday's game against the Colorado Avalanche completes another back-to-back set for the Blue Jackets, who are now 4-1-0 on the front end of those situations. As previously stated in this space, they will have played five games and celebrated U.S. Thanksgiving before this week is complete, easily their busiest portion of the schedule.
Coming off a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, the Blue Jackets have won four in a row and are feeling good about their team game. Down twice at Verizon Center on Sunday, they battled back and scored twice in the third period - including the game-winning goal on the power play with 53.6 seconds remaining - to beat the Capitals for the second time this week.
NOTEWORTHY NEWS: Tortorella told reporters prior to Sunday's game that Seth Jones is nearing a return from a fractured foot suffered on Nov. 5. It's possible, though not yet a certainty, that he could get back in the lineup on Monday. No decision has been announced regarding a starting goaltender, but Tortorella will confirm the lineup prior to the game.
PROJECTED CBJ LINEUP:
**TBA after Tortorella meets with media (approximately 4:30 p.m.)