The Blue Jackets take on the Devils here in New Jersey tonight and for the first time in his career Steve Mason will face the goaltender he idolized growing up in the outskirts of Toronto. Mason, coming off a sterling performance against the Predators in Nashville in Saturday's heartbreaking 1-0 loss in overtime, looks 200 feet down the ice at certain Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.
I talked to Mason after this morning's optional skate and the Jackets netminder told me he has been a fan of the Devils' goalie since their run to the 1995 Cup. Mason was quick to add though, "I can't think about playing against him rather I am playing against the Devils." And frankly he should! The Devils, despite their recent goal scoring woes... just one goal in their last 125 minutes, have three lines than can score.
As for Brodeur, I had a chance to talk to the personable Devils netminder after their full pre-game skate and NHL's best puck handling goalie said, "I know exactly how Mason feels, I had the same feelings and thoughts when I got my early opportunities to play against my favorite goalie Patrick Roy. Tonight should be a fun night."
Look for Grant Clitsome to play his second ever NHL game tonight. Clitsome was recalled yesterday and could stick for the balance of the season with another solid game. Grant assisted on the Jackets' first two goals when he made his NHL debut March 2 against Vancouver.
Tonight's tilt is in HD and our coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Ray Crawford and Blue Jackets Live on FOX Sports Ohio.
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Bobby Mac", "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.