The Blue Jackets begin a critical back to back set of games here in Pittsburgh tonight making their first visit to the home of the now Super Bowl Champion Steelers since October of 2006!
This is a huge game for both teams... the Jackets looking to end a two game slide while the Penguins overcame a 3-0 third period deficit Wednesday to edge Tampa Bay 4-3 here in Pittsburgh. Both the Pens and Columbus sit 10th in their respective conferences and with both having playoff aspirations both need tonight's win... so who wants it more! The Blue Jackets had what I thought was a spirited morning skate while the Penguins I thought were unusually quiet.
Coach Hitchcock when addressing the last two losses by the CBJ suggested that the recent bump in the road might be the best thing for the team, who he offered, was somewhat in shock with the two defeats and perhaps has learned a lesson that EVERYONE MUST BE ON BOARD. It takes a full 60 Minutes or more to win in this League right now.
Wade Dubielewicz will make his first start as a Blue Jacket tonight and the latest on Steve Mason, who remains back in Columbus today, is that he feels no better or worse than he has of late... so as I write this, it doesn't look good for him starting tomorrow night at Nationwide against the San Jose Sharks.
I did have a chance to visit with the Penguins Sidney Crosby for several minutes this morning. What a great kid and ambassador for the Penguins, Pittsburgh and the NHL. Sid the kid told me he is looking forward to an infrequent meeting with the Blue Jackets superstar Rick Nash tonight.
Of course there is another star in the Penguins lineup by the name of Evgeni Malkin who carried the Penguins on his back the other night bringing them back from the dead... with two goals including the game winner in overtime and an assist!
As I said two critical games for the CBJ... tonight's in HD on FOX Sports Ohio begins at 7 p.m. with Blue Jackets Live... 7:30 p.m. start... and tomorrow night at Nationwide against the League's best, San Jose Sharks.
Tickets remain for tomorrow's home start but don't wait too long to get your seats if you do not have them already. Tickets are moving briskly! And yes, tomorrow's game is on FOX Sports Ohio as well!
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "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.