The Blue Jackets, back home after a four game road trip, host the Red Wings at Nationwide Arena attempting to bring an end to their franchise record tying nine-game losing streak. The Red Wings won the first half of the home-and-home contests Saturday with a 2-1 victory in Detroit, in what I thought was a winnable hockey game! The Blue Jackets dominated the first period but scored just one goal, that by Antoine Vermette, despite several quality scoring chances. The Jackets out shot the Wings 15-6 but as coach Ken Hitchcock said this morning, "The Wings stepped up their checking game in the second and third periods and we didn't as a result have our time or space."
The Jackets coach added the team was quiet this morning both before and during the optional morning skate and says his team is and I quote... "A bit nervous heading into tonight's game not knowing what to expect from the fans after the just completed road trip."
Hitchcock would not reveal where Alexandre Picard fits into tonight's lineup. R.J. Umberger injured in Saturday's game will be one of two game time decisions and therefore Hitch was reluctant to address the final makeup of his team.
We do know Steve Mason will get tonight's start. I thought Mason spent an extra few minutes on the ice this morning during the optional and as we have stated before, the Blue Jackets need Mason to steal one for his tentative teammates. I can't think of a better time against a Detroit hockey club that also finds themselves in some what of a funk (losing three games before the victory the other night).
Game time is 7 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on VERSUS.
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Bobby Mac", "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.