All the bags are packed, they're ready to go...isn't that how the song goes?
The Blue Jackets are about to take off and head to Buffalo for tomorrow's game against the Sabres, and it takes a bit to get used to this being just their third game of the season. We watched some teams played their fourth games last night, so the Jackets have some catching up to do.
But don't worry, the schedule starts to pick up next week and beyond. The Blue Jackets play eight of nine games at Nationwide Arena from Oct. 20 to Nov. 9, so there's some serious home cooking.
Part of their final prep for the Sabres took place in the OhioHealth Ice Haus this morning, a 45-minute skate that focused on some offensive-zone systematics and (you guessed it) special teams. Once again, all 23 players were present and accounted for but one of the two guys currently missing will draw back in tomorrow night.
Here's how the Blue Jackets skated this morning:
Atkinson - Dubinsky - Gaborik
Calvert - Anisimov - Comeau
Foligno - Johansen - Umberger
Jenner/Letestu - MacKenzie - Boll
Johnson - Prout
Murray - Wisniewski
Nikitin - Savard
Extra defense pair: Tyutin - Erixon
And, for today's updates from head coach Todd Richards:
- Tyutin will travel with the team to Buffalo but he's not going to play tomorrow night. Richards said Tyutin has been pushing to get back in, but the coaches and management feel it's best for Tyutin to get another practice in tomorrow (morning skate) and Friday, then be completely ready to on Saturday.
- Richards is looking forward to having Boll in the lineup, and mostly because of the high energy level he brings. That physical presence cannot be understated and Richards said Boll's expanded leadership role has made his return even more important.
- As for the Sabres, Richards expects them to once again be a desperate team. They lost at home last night to the Lightning in overtime and had some chances to win late, but couldn't convert. Buffalo is 0-3-1 but as Richards said, they have two big lines up front that can do some damage.
- With Boll back, the Blue Jackets have a decision to make: one forward needs to come out of the lineup tomorrow, but Richards said they will make that call either tonight or tomorrow after the morning skate.
We'll have more pre-game coverage leading up to tomorrow's game in Buffalo tonight and throughout game day, right here on BlueJackets.com.