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Blue Jackets Weekly Report: Home Games vs. Eastern Conference-Leading Boston, Defending East Champion Pittsburgh and Stanley Cup Champion Detroit

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

THIS WEEK'S GAME SCHEDULE (Times ET)


Tue., Mar. 10   BOSTON BRUINS, Nationwide Arena - 7 p.m. FSO HD/1460, CD101
Thu., Mar. 12* PITTSBURGH PENGUINS, Nationwide Arena - 7 p.m. FSO HD/1460, CD101
Fri., Mar. 13     at Chicago Blackhawks, United Center - 8 p.m. No local TV/1460, CD101
Sun., Mar. 15  DETROIT RED WINGS, Nationwide Arena - 5 p.m. FSO/1460, CD101
FSO – FOX Sports Ohio; 1460 – WBNS-AM 1460 The Fan; CD101 – CD101.1 FM

*Doors at Nationwide Arena will open at 5:30 p.m. for Pittsburgh game.

 


BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE

Record:
33-27-6, 72 pts./3rd Central Division… Streak: Won last game… Home: 20-10-2, won last game… Road: 13-17-4, won last game… Last Week’s Results: 2-1-0… Mar. 3 – at Columbus 5, Los Angeles 4… Mar. 5 – at Nashville 4, Columbus 2… Mar. 7 – Columbus 8, at Detroit 2.

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE "MARCH TO THE PLAYOFFS"
Standings as of Mar. 9 (*division leaders)

  Team
GP Record Pts. Games Left Games Left - Home Games Left - Away Opp. this Week
1. *San Jose 64 42-12-10 94 18 8 10 at MIN, at STL, LA, at ANA
2.
*Detroit
66 43-15-8 94 16 9 7 PHX, CGY, at STL, at CBJ
3. *Calgary 66 39-21-6 84 16 7 9 at NJ, at DET, at TOR
4. Chicago 64 36-19-9 81 18 12 6 CAR, CBJ, NYI
5. Vancouver 64 32-22-8 76 18 8 10 at LA, at ANA, LA, COL
6. Columbus 66 33-27-6 72 16 9 7 BOS, PIT, at CHI, DET
7. Edmonton 65 32-27-5 70 17 10 7 at MTL, ATL, COL
8. Nashville 66 33-29-4 70 16 7 9 WSH, NYR, at PHX
9. Dallas 66 31-27-8 70 16 7 9 at STL, CAR, MIN
10. Minnesota 65 32-28-5 69 17 7 10 SJ, at COL, at DAL, at STL
11. Anaheim 67 31-30-6 68 15 8 7 VAN, SJ
12. St. Louis 65 29-28-8 66 17 8 9 DAL, SJ, MIN, DET
13. Los Angeles 65 28-28-9 65 17 5 12 VAN, at VAN, at SJ

 

 

OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
BOSTON BRUINS (43-15-9, 95 pts./1st Northeast Division):
Head Coach: Claude Julien… Boston's 95 points lead the NHL (San Jose and Detroit, 94) and marks the third-highest total for the Bruins since 1993-94 (104, 2003-04; 101, 2001-02)… Bruins own the best road record in the NHL at 21-9-4, but have lost their last three away from home… Club is led by C Marc Savard (21-52-73 in 67 games), C Phil Kessel (27-21-48, five GWG in 61 games) and D Zdeno Chara (16-24-40, eight PPG in 67 games)… G Tim Thomas is 28-9-6 with a 2.08 GAA, .932 SV% and four shutouts in 43 games… Jackets are 3-4-0 all-time vs. Boston, including 2-2-0 at home… The Bruins won the last meeting between the teams, 2-0, at home on Dec. 15, 2007… The Blue Jackets won the previous meeting, 5-4 in overtime, at Nationwide Arena on Dec. 26, 2006.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (35-26-6, 76 pts./4th Northeast Division): Head Coach Dan Bylsma… Pittsburgh has gone 8-1-1 and won its last six games since Bylsma was named interim head coach on Feb. 15… The Penguins' 18 road wins (18-14-4) are the fifth-most in the NHL… C Evgeni Malkin (29-65-94, 11 PPG in 67 games) and C Sidney Crosby (25-57-82 in 62 games) rank first and third, respectively, in the NHL in scoring… RW Petr Sykora has added 23-21-44, 13 PPG, eight GWG in 63 games… G Marc-Andre Fleury is 27-16-4 with a 2.78 GAA, .911 SV% and three shutouts in 49 games… The Blue Jackets are 3-4-2 all-time vs. Pittsburgh, including a 2-0-2 mark at home… Pittsburgh won the last meeting, 4-1, at Mellon Arena on Feb. 6… The Jackets won the last meeting at Nationwide Arena, 6-1, on Jan. 11, 2006.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (36-19-9, 81 pts./2nd Central Division): Head Coach Joel Quenneville… The Hawks enter the week having lost two-straight and are 2-4-1 in their last seven games… Chicago has the NHL's seventh-ranked power play at 21.4 pct. and stands 15th in penalty killing at 81.5 pct.… Club is led by second-year standouts RW Patrick Kane (21-37-58, 11 PPG in 62 games) and C Jonathan Toews (28-29-57, 11 PPG and six GWG in 64 games), along with RW Martin Havlat (21-37-57 in 64 games)… G Cristobal Huet is 18-13-3 with a 2.44 GAA, .913 SV% and three shutouts in 36 games… The Blue Jackets are 22-22-3 all-time vs. the Blackhawks, including 8-13-2 on the road… Columbus is 18-13-1 in the last 32 meetings and has not lost a season series to Chicago since 2002-03 (2-3-0)… Chicago has won both previous meetings, 4-3, in a shootout at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 1 and 3-1 at United Center on Dec. 14.

DETROIT RED WINGS (43-15-8, 94 pts./1st Central Division): Head Coach: Mike Babcock… Defending Stanley Cup champions lead the NHL in power play efficiency (26.7 pct.), but rank just 27th in penalty killing (77.5 pct.)… After going 10-2-1 from Feb. 2-27, the Red Wings are 2-2-0 in their last four… Detroit is led by C Pavel Datsyuk (25-53-78, 11 PPG in 65 games), RW Marian Hossa (34-27-61, 10 PPG in 61 games) and C Henrik Zetterberg (26-32-58, 10 PPG in 61 games)… G Ty Conklin is 23-8-1 with a 2.39 GAA, .914 SV% and six shutouts in 34 games… Jackets are 14-28-8 all-time vs. the Red Wings, including 8-11-6 at home… Columbus has gone 9-11-1 vs. Detroit the past two-plus seasons after posting a 5-17-7 mark from 2000-06… Columbus has won the last three meetings – 3-2 in OT on Jan. 27 and 3-2 on Feb. 13 at home and 8-2 on Mar. 7 at Joe Louis Arena after Detroit won the first two meetings this season on home ice – 5-3 on Nov. 28 and 3-0 on Jan. 6.

 


SCHEDULE, Mar. 10-16 (times subject to change)
Tuesday, Mar. 10       Nationwide Arena - 10:30 a.m. ET
Wednesday, Mar. 11 Dispatch Ice Haus - 11 a.m. ET
Thursday, Mar. 12      Nationwide Arena - 10:30 a.m. ET
Friday, Mar. 13            United Center, Chicago - 11:30 a.m. CT
Saturday, Mar. 14       Dispatch Ice Haus - 12 p.m. ET
Sunday, Mar. 15         Dispatch Ice Haus - 9:30 a.m. ET (tentative)
Monday, Mar. 16         Dispatch Ice Haus - 11 a.m. ET

 

OhioHealth INJURY REPORT
C Derick Brassard (dislocated shoulder, Dec. 18) will miss the rest of the season… LW Fredrik Modin (Mar. 5 at Nashville) is day-to-day… D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Injured Reserve, Feb. 21) is expected to miss four to six weeks… LW Jason Chimera (Injured Rerserve, Mar. 2) is expected to miss four to five weeks… Man Games Lost to Injury: 267.

 


INDIVIDUAL NOTES

CAPTAIN ENJOYS BIG WEEK:
LW Rick Nash was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for Mar. 2-8 after tallying 4-2-6 in three games. On Mar. 7, he registered his fourth career hat trick with three unassisted goals in an 8-2 win at Detroit. It was the first "unassisted" hat trick since Montreal's Maurice "Rocket" Richard accomplished the feat Mar. 14, 1948 at the NY Rangers. The hat trick was Nash’s third against the Red Wings, his second at Joe Louis Arena and second against Detroit this season (had all three goals in a 3-2 Blue Jackets overtime win Jan. 27 at Nationwide Arena). With his hat trick, Nash pushed his season totals to 31-33-64 in 62 games, giving him 30 or more goals for the fourth time in the past five seasons. It was also his 20th multi-point game of the season, setting a franchise record in that category (previous record of 19 was shared by David Vyborny, 2005-06 and 2006-07; and Ray Whitney, 2002-03).

MASON CLOSING IN ON CLUB RECORDS: Rookie G Steve Mason stopped 44-of-46 shots in Saturday's win at Detroit to improve to 26-16-3 with a 2.24 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and eight shutouts in 46 games this season. He needs one more win to tie the franchise record for wins by a goaltender in a season (27-Marc Denis, 2002-03) and is one shutout shy of matching Pascal Leclaire's club record of nine set in 2007-08. Mason continues to lead the NHL in shutouts, while ranking second in goals-against average, ninth in save percentage and 10th in wins.

WILLIAMS MAKING A POINT: C/RW Jason Williams has tallied 7-9-16 and is +5 in 23 games since being acquired in a trade from Atlanta, pushing his season totals to 14-20-34 and -4 in 64 games. He has been particularly hot of late, collecting 5-6-11in the last 11 games with goals in two-straight and points in his last three games (2-2-4). He notched 1-1-2 at Detroit on Mar. 7, recording his second game-winning goal as a Blue Jacket (and second against his former Detroit teammates) and fourth overall.

 


TEAM NOTES

BLUE JACKETS MAKE PAIR OF MOVES AT TRADE DEADLINE:
Columbus made two moves on the NHL's Mar. 4 trade deadline, acquiring C Antoine Vermette from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for G Pascal Leclaire and a second round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft and acquiring G Kevin Lalande from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft… Vermette collected an assist, was +1, won 10-of-20 face-offs and logged 18:02 of ice time in his CBJ debut at Detroit on Mar. 7. He has tallied 9-20-29 and 42 penalty minutes in 63 games this season and has registered 80-88-168 and 205 penalty minutes in 360 career games… Lalande was assigned to Syracuse and made his Crunch debut at Hamilton on Mar. 7 and stopped 20-of-22 shots in a 3-0 loss.

THIS WEEK'S FOES BOAST .655 WINNING PERCENTAGE: Columbus faces what could be its most daunting week of the season this week as it faces off against the team with the most points in the NHL (Boston), the defending Eastern Conference champions (Pittsburgh), the fourth place team in the Western Conference (Chicago) and defending Stanley Cup champions (Detroit). The combined record of the four teams on the Blue Jackets’ schedule this week is 157-75-32 (Boston, 43-15-9; Pittsburgh, 35-26-6; at Chicago, 36-19-9: and Detroit, 43-15-8), which translates into a .655 winning percentage.

BEASTS AGAINST THE EAST: The Blue Jackets have gone 10-3-1 in games against Eastern Conference teams this season, outscoring the opposition 40 to 22… G Steve Mason has gone 9-1-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average, .964 save percentage and five shutouts in 10 games against the Eastern Conference… C R.J. Umberger also tallied 9-2-11 and has a plus/minus rating of +5 in 14 games against the East this season.

MISCELLANEOUS: Since beginning the season 3-6-0 in their first nine games, the Jackets have gone 30-21-6… Columbus has posted an 11-7-1 record since the All-Star break… With 16 games remaining, the Blue Jackets are closing in on franchise records for wins (33-27-6; 35-43-4 in 2005-06), home wins (20-10-2; 23-18-0 in 2005-06) and road wins (13-17-4; 15-23-3, 2006-07)… Saturday's 8-2 win over Detroit was the club's third in a row against the Red Wings and also represented franchise records for goals in a game (previous mark was seven - five times, Oct. 23, 2007 at Chicago in a 7-4 win, most recently) and largest margin of victory (previous record was five – six times, Jan. 2, 2009 at Colorado in 6-1 win, most recently).

 

COMMUNITY NEWS
BLUE JACKETS FOUNDATION "ST. PATRICK'S DAY JERSEY AUCTION":
In recognition of St. Patrick's Day, the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation is hosting a special auction featuring a full team set of authentic, green practice jerseys adorned with a Shamrock patch and Irish-themed nameplates unique to each player (i.e. 1-O'Mason, 61-O'Nash, 19-McPeca, etc…). The players wore the individually customized jerseys during the morning skate in preparation for their Mar. 3 game against Los Angeles. Proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit the team's charitable foundation. Fans may bid on individual practice-worn jerseys at the Blue Jackets Foundation table located behind section 111 during the home games this Thursday vs. Pittsburgh and Sunday vs. Detroit. All jerseys will have a starting bid of $150 with bids being accepted through the end of the second intermission of the Sunday's game.

 

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
TUESDAY, MAR. 10 VS. BOSTON BRUINS:
"alive! Jackets Night Out" – All fans ages 21 and older receive one ticket, one Donatos Pizza and one beer for one low price. Upper Bowl packages are $30 per ticket, while Lower Bowl packages are $50 per ticket… "Chipotle/CD101 Hot Zone" – This package includes one ticket in section 101 and a coupon for a free burrito courtesy of Chipotle for just $30… "Schwebel's GIANT Deal" offers two tickets and one Stinger's Kids Meal (hot dog, small soda, chips and cookies) for just $45… "Rush CBJ Student Tickets presented by Raising Canes" – High School and College students can get Blue Jackets tickets for student prices one hour before games at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office! Upper bowl seats are just $15, lower bowl seats are just $25.

 

SUNDAY, MAR. 15 VS. DETROIT: "Huntington Hat Night" – All fans in attendance receive a Blue Jackets hat courtesy of Huntington… Dispatch/97.1 The Fan Family Night and appearance by Nickelodeon's Diego – The package includes four tickets, four Sugardale hot dogs, four small Pepsi products, four popcorns and four coupons for Wendy's Frostys, UDF ice cream cones and Dispatch Ice Haus skating passes. Prices start as low as $25 per person… In addition, kids can meet "Diego" from Nickelodeon, presented by Time Warner Cable.

 


PROMOTIONS & CONTESTS

JACKETS ALERTS FROM VERIZON WIRELESS:
The "Jackets Alerts" program gives fans the opportunity to sign up to have breaking team news, game information and exclusive offers sent directly to their Verizon Wireless phone. By texting the word JACKETS to 79376, fans will be automatically signed up for the 2008-09 season. Standard messaging rates apply and service availability is on a carrier by carrier basis and based on handset compatibility.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH "MARCH TO THE PLAYOFFS" TICKET OFFER AT GIANT EAGLE: The Blue Jackets and The Columbus Dispatch have introduced a "March to the Playoffs" ticket offer in which shoppers who buy The Columbus Dispatch at participating Giant Eagle locations will find an insert containing a special discount offer for select Blue Jackets home games in March. The specially-marked newspapers will be in stores throughout March and allow customers to take advantage of a $10 discount off select upper level seating areas and $15 off select lower level seats. The discounts may be redeemed online at BlueJackets.nhl.com/dispatch.htm or in person at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office. Fans may choose from the following games – Mar. 10 vs. Boston; Mar. 18 vs. Chicago; Mar. 26 vs. Calgary and Mar. 31 vs. Nashville.

SUNSHINE VACATIONS "PLAYER FOR THE DAY" CONTEST UNDERWAY: Sunshine Vacations is giving one lucky fan the chance to be a Blue Jacket with the "Player for a Day" online contest. The grand prize winner will sign a one-day contract with a member of the team's front office on Tuesday, Mar. 31 prior to the Blue Jackets game against the Nashville Predators. Upon "signing," the winner will receive a personalized jersey, a $500 signing bonus and four tickets to watch the game in the front line seats between the team benches. The complete game day experience also includes the opportunity to watch the Blue Jackets morning skate and the chance to be on the home team's bench during pre-game warm-ups. Player for a Day registration runs now through Mar. 24 on www.BlueJackets.com.

FANS – SHOW THE BLUE JACKETS HOW YOU "CARRY THE FLAG": BlueJackets.com is giving fans the opportunity to show how they Carry the Flag! The team's official website is looking for creative content provided by fans about their favorite NHL team. Fans can visit www.BlueJackets.com and submit creative game previews or recaps (pdf, doc, txt), videos (wmv), photos (jpg, jpeg, gif formats no bigger than 1000 x 1000 pixels) or audio clips (mp3 or mpg) and the best submissions will be posted on the team's website.

BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
The Coach's Show with Ken Hitchcock airs on WBNS Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan and AM1460 on Wednesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets Head Coach, FOX Sports Ohio's Jeff Rimer and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley… Breakfast with the Blue Jackets can be heard on the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan and AM1460 on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.


TICKET INFORMATION
SINGLE GAME: Tickets are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line Team Stores at the Chiller Easton, Chiller Dublin, Chiller North and The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com... SEASON & GROUP TICKETS: For information on season tickets, six-game and 10-game plans, and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS… HUNTINGTON GREEN SEATS: A minimum of 250 tickets are available for just $10 at the Nationwide Arena Box Office two hours prior to every home game.

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