THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 to 90 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Dec. 27-Jan. 2 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)â€¦ Wed. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)â€¦ Thu. – 11 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)â€¦ Fri. – 11:30 a.m. (United Center, Chicago)â€¦ Sat. – 11:30 a.m. (Joe Louis Arena, Detroit)â€¦ Sun. – No Practice Scheduledâ€¦ Mon. – 10:30 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus). Practice times are local and subject to change. Only practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.
ROSTER REPORT: Dec. 23 - Assigned C Mark Hartigan to Syracuse Crunch (AHL)â€¦ Placed D Luke Richardson and D Aaron Johnson on Injured Reserveâ€¦ Added C Mark Hartigan to roster on emergency recallâ€¦ Dec. 22 – Recalled D Aaron Johnson from Syracuse (AHL)â€¦ Reassigned D Andy Delmore and RW Steven Goertzen to Syracuse (AHL) â€¦ Dec. 21– Placed D Bryan Berard on Injured Reserveâ€¦ Recalled RW Steven Goertzen from Syracuse (AHL)â€¦ Dec. 20 – Activated D Rostislav Klesla off Injured Reserveâ€¦ Added D Andy Delmore to roster on emergency recall.
INJURY REPORT: D Luke Richardson (fractured jaw, Dec. 21 vs. Dallas) is sidelined indefinitelyâ€¦ D Aaron Johnson (knee sprain, Dec. 23 vs. Nashville) will miss approximately three weeksâ€¦ D Bryan Berard (back strain) is day-to-dayâ€¦ C Manny Malhotra (shoulder injury, Dec. 8 vs. NY Islanders) is expected to miss eight weeksâ€¦ C Gilbert Brule (broken leg, Nov. 30 at Minnesota) is out four to six weeksâ€¦ LW Alexandre Picard (mild concussion, Nov. 20 at Phoenix) is day-to-day.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Chicago Blackhawks – 13-18-3, 29 pts. (3rd, Central Division)â€¦ Second and third of eight meetings this seasonâ€¦ Jackets are 9-11-2 in the all-time series, including 6-4-1 at homeâ€¦ Jackets won first meeting, 3-2, at Chicago on Oct. 9â€¦ Head Coach: Trent Yawneyâ€¦ Players to Watch – LW Mark Bell (14-13-27 in 34 games)â€¦ C Tyler Arnason (10-17-27 in 34 games)â€¦ G Nikolai Khabibulin (11-16-2, 3.33 GAA, .879 SV% in 29 games)â€¦ Anaheim Mighty Ducks – 16-14-6, 38 pts. (4th, Pacific Division)â€¦ Second of four meetings this seasonâ€¦ Columbus is 8-7-2 all-time, including 6-2-0 at homeâ€¦ Mighty Ducks won 4-3 at home on Oct. 14â€¦ Head Coach: Randy Carlyleâ€¦ Players to Watch – RW Teemu Selanne (18-12-30 in 36 games)â€¦ RW Joffrey Lupul (13-13-26 in 35 games)â€¦ G Jean-Sebastien Giguere (10-5-6, 2.83 GAA, .902 SV% in 24 games)â€¦ Detroit Red Wings – 24-9-3, 51 pts. (1st, Central Division)â€¦ Fourth of eight meetings this seasonâ€¦ Jackets are 4-14-6 in the all-time series, including 2-8-1 on the roadâ€¦ Detroit won first meeting at Joe Louis Arena 4-3 on Dec. 20â€¦ Head Coach: Mike Babcockâ€¦ Players to Watch – C Pavel Datsyuk (15-27-52 in 36 games)â€¦ LW Brendan Shanahan (20-18-38 in 36 games)â€¦ G Chris Osgood (10-3-3, 2.97 GAA, .894 SV% in 16 games).
WEEK IN REVIEW: Dec. 20 – at Detroit 4, Blue Jackets 3: Columbus overcame three one-goal deficits, including a pair in the third period, but lost on Jason William's goal in the shootout. Nikolai Zherdev tallied 1-1-2, including the tying goal at 15:51 of the third period, and Sergei Fedorov had 0-2-2 to lead the Jackets who also got a goal from Rick Nash. Pascal Leclaire made 35 saves for Columbus, while Chris Osgood made 30 saves for Detroit. The Red Wings went 2-of-3 in the shootout, while holding the Jackets to 1-of-3â€¦ Dec. 21 – Dallas 5, at Blue Jackets 3: The Stars scored three goals, including a pair by Stu Barnes, in the first 4:52 of the third period to overcome a 3-2 deficit en route to the win. The Blue Jackets led 1-0 after one period and 3-2 after two on goals by Jaroslav Balastik, Rick Nash and Mike Rupp before the Stars comeback. Pascal Leclaire made 30 saves, while Johan Hedberg made 23 saves for Dallas, who also got two goals from Philippe Boucher. Dallas was 1-of-7 on the power play compared to Columbus' 0-of-8â€¦ Dec. 23 – Nashville 5, at Blue Jackets 4: Nashville jumped out to a 4-2 lead after one period and led 5-2 after Adam Hall's goal at 15:07 of the second period before holding off a Blue Jackets rally. Jaroslav Balastik's second goal of the game at 17:18 of the second cut the Nashville lead to 5-3 and Jason Chimera scored at 14:03 of the third, but Nashville held on to win thanks to Tomas Vokoun, who made 35 saves. Nashville converted 3-of-7 power play chances, while Columbus was 2-of-10 with the man advantage.
FOUR BLUE JACKETS SELECTED TO PLAY AT 2006 OLYMPIC GAMES: Last week, four Blue Jackets were named to their respective national teams for the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. On Dec. 21, defending gold medalist Canada selected LW Rick Nash and D Adam Foote to its 23-man roster. The following day, RW David Vyborny was named to the Czech Republic Olympic Team and D Radoslav Suchy was selected to play for Slovakia. Foote will be playing in his third Olympics (1998, 2002), while Nash, Vyborny and Suchy will all be making their debuts.
WESTCOTT, BALASTIK HEATING UP OFFENSIVELY: D Duvie Westcott scored his first NHL goal at Dallas on Nov. 18 in the 96th game of his career. That game started a stretch in which he has tallied 4-8-12 in 16 games since beginning the season with 0-1-1 in 18 games, including 16-straight without a point to start the season â€¦ Rookie LW Jaroslav Balastik registered the first multi-goal game of his career with two vs. Nashville on Dec. 23, which gives him three goals in the last two games. The Czech Elite League's top goal scorer in 2003-04 (29) and 2004-05 (30) has notched five goals in his last 10 games after being held to 0-1-1 in his first nine career NHL games.
NEWS & NOTES: RW David Vyborny had his team record consecutive games played streak snapped at 194 on Dec. 21 due to a rib injury suffered the night before at Detroit. The streak began on Oct. 17, 2002 at St. Louisâ€¦ RW Mike Rupp has tallied 2-1-3 in his last five games after being held without a point in his first 19 outings this seasonâ€¦ Since being a health scratch in three of five games between Nov. 18-26, C Jan Hrdina has collected 2-7-9 in 11 gamesâ€¦ LW Rick Nash has scored a goal in three of four games since returning from a knee injury on Dec. 17â€¦ Rookie C Geoff Platt has picked up assists in each of the past two games (0-1-1)â€¦ After scoring three or more goals seven times in its first 23 games (40 goals/1.7 per game), Columbus has done so eight times in its last 12 outings (32 goals/2.7).
NHL EXPERIENCE PRESENTED BY POWERADE COMING TO NATIONWIDE ARENA WEDNESDAY: NHL Experience presented by POWERade is coming to Nationwide Arena on Wednesday for the Blue Jackets – Mighty Ducks game. This celebration of hockey features numerous attractions including: Pick A Puck, a hockey trivia challenge; Shot on Goal, an interactive patterned after the NHL Skills Challenge; and the ESPN Video Game Kioski, featuring PlayStation 2 games. Fans will be able to participate to win a variety of prizes courtesy of POWERade.
JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.