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FOX Sports Ohio, Columbus Blue Jackets to Celebrate "Countdown to Face Off" this September

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets fans won’t have to wait until Opening Night to enjoy Blue Jackets hockey. As the team gears up for what will be an exciting 2011-12 season, FOX Sports Ohio is helping fans get ready for the season by featuring special Blue Jackets programming throughout the month of September in a "Countdown to Face Off."

In the "Countdown to Face Off," FOX Sports Ohio will feature replays of four of the best Blue Jackets games over the club's 10 NHL seasons as voted on by fans, as well as a Summer Tour road show, the Blue Jackets Slap Shots Summer Special and a Morning Sports Report Special.

Ohio's leading regional sports network has gathered a list of nine of the most memorable games in Blue Jackets history, including the highest-scoring game in club history, the Jackets' most lopsided win, the game that clinched their first playoff appearance, a last-minute win secured when Rick Nash scored "the Goal" and more. The top four games, as voted on by fans at FOXSportsOhio.com, will make the air as Blue Jackets Showcase Games. Fans can VOTE HERE as many times as they want until August 19. The first game will debut on Monday, September 5 at 6 p.m.

FOX Sports Ohio further prepares for the start of the Jackets' season with Blue Jackets Slap Shots Summer Special. This show, which is a replay of the production that originally premiered in July, will begin airing again on Thursday, September 1 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The half-hour special takes a look at the team's off-season player moves from trades to the draft and free agency, breaks down the 2011-12 season schedule and includes interviews with team captain Rick Nash, general manager Scott Howson and newcomers Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski.

How do Columbus Blue Jackets players spend the off-season? Dave Maetzold and the FOX Sports Ohio crew take to the highways and byways of Canada to find out on Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Tour. Covering over 2,000 miles of the Great White North via minivan, this show will take fans to Quebec for a tour of Quebec City with Antoine Vermette. The road show then rolls into Ontario to check in with defensemen Marc Methot and Grant Clitsome in their hometown of Ottawa, catches up with captain Rick Nash at his cottage in the Muskoka region and has some fun with Steve Mason and his friends in the Toronto area. This four part series, which will debut on Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m., is an all-access pass to the Jackets that every fan must see!

FOX Sports Ohio rounds out its "Countdown to Face Off" programming with Blue Jackets Slap Shots - Morning Sports Report Special. In this 30-minute program, FOX Sports Ohio/Blue Jacket play-by-play commentator, Jeff Rimer, sits down with Nash, 2010 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee Dino Ciccarelli, and Stanley Cup champion and national NHL analyst Ed Olczyk. Taped in late-June as part of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission's MORNING SPORTS REPORT event, the show highlights some of the discussion that took place in front of a live audience. Check it out when it premiers on Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Below is a complete programming schedule for each of the shows. Dates and times are subject to change.

Programming Schedule by Show

Blue Jackets Showcase Games

Monday, Sept. 5  -  6 p.m. (Game 1)
Sunday, Sept. 18 -  5 p.m. (Game 2)
Wednesday, Sept. 21 -  7 p.m. (Game 3)
Wednesday, Sept. 28  - 7 p.m. (Game 4)

Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Thursday, Sept. 1 -  6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 2 -  2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4 -  1 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 5 -  5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 6 -  6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 7  - 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 8  -  1:30 p.m.

Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Tour
Wednesday, Sept. 7 -  6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 14 -  6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 21 -  6:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 26 -  6 p.m.

Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Morning Sports Report Special
Thursday, Sept. 8 -  6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 9 -  7:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 12 -  6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 15 -  11:30 p.m.


Programming Schedule by Date

Thursday, Sept. 1 6:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Friday, Sept. 2 2 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Sunday, Sept. 4 1 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Monday, Sept. 5 5:30 p.m.
6 p.m.
Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Blue Jackets Showcase Game 1
Tuesday, Sept. 6 6:30 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Wednesday, Sept. 7 6:30 p.m.
7 p.m.
Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Tour Episode 1 Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Thursday, Sept. 8 1:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.
Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Special
Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Morning Sports Report Special
Friday, Sept. 9 7:30 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Morning Sports Report Special
Monday, Sept. 12 6 p.m. & 11:30 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Morning Sports Report Special
Wednesday, Sept. 14 6 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Tour Episode 2
Thursday, Sept. 15 11:30 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Morning Sports Report Special
Sunday, Sept. 18 5 p.m. Blue Jackets Showcase Game 2
Wednesday, Sept. 21 6:30 p.m.
7 p.m.
Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Tour Episode 3
Blue Jackets Showcase Game 3
Monday, Sept. 26 6 p.m. Blue Jackets Slap Shots – Summer Tour Episode 4
Wednesday, Sept. 28 7 p.m. Blue Jackets Showcase Game 4

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