The Blue Jackets begin their three game trek thru Western Canada tonight in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Coach Ken Hitchcock told the assembled media after the morning skate that he is hopeful the Jackets can continue their recent road play starting against the Canucks...one of the teams the Jackets must catch if they have any hopes of the playoffs. To Quote Hitch..... "We needs points here in these three Western games before we go home to a favorable March schedule when we simply wait for teams to come in if we are going to be a playoff team."
Lineup changes tonight include the addition of recent call ups Derek MacKenzie who will replace Jiri Novotny in the lineup, and Aaron Rome who will make his Blue Jackets debut on the blue line. Novotny incidentally has returned to Columbus with his wife expected to give birth at any moment. Rome is a left handed shooting defenseman acquired in the trade with Anaheim for Geoff Platt. Hitch likes the fact that Rome despite shooting left....plays the right side and the CBJ with Foote's departure have no right-handed shooting defenseman.
Note: expect Vancouver Native Gilbert Brule to start on the right wing alongside Michael Peca and Rick Nash. Peca has not skated the last two days but is expected to play tonight.
Pascal Leclaire will start in goal and oppose the Canuck's Roberto Luongo.
A final thought: Hitchcock was pleased with the team's two skates here in Vancouver since our arrival and hopes it transpires to a big effort tonight!
*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 3/2 @Edmonton.