Well, here we are... "Hockeytown USA" the Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings... first of an all important five-game road trip. The Jackets got some help in the standings last night to remain within four points of the 8th and final playoff spot but they did slip one notch in the standings... So, it's time for them to help themselves!
The Blue Jackets have been much, much better on the road of late. (3-1-1) and are coming off their best all round road game of the year... the 2-1 overtime loss at San Jose. The Red Wings are currently on a four game losing streak and frankly I don't know what would be better... facing the Wings with their current streak or facing them when they are on a 10-game winning streak - makes for an interesting tilt tonight.
Pascal Leclaire feeling much, much better gets the start in goal and the CBJ need a big time performance from him! The other lineup changes see Tollefsen and Lindstrom return to the lineup at the expense of Russell and Novotny. Novotny is nursing a shoulder injury but should return to the lineup Sunday. Also on the positive injury front Sergei Fedorov was on the ice for the pre-game skate and coach Ken Hitchcock says he hopes Fedorov will play Sunday! Also Hitch is of the belief that Boll will be feeling well enough Sunday to rejoin his teammates and possibly play against the Blues.
Back to Fedorov... Sergei was the subject of a front page story in the Detroit News as possibly returning here to the "Motor City" either through a trade or free agency! The Wings Chris Chelios was quoted in the article as suggesting Fedorov would be a good addition. Is that tampering? Hmmmmm! Hitch's response when asked by the Detroit media was that with the Blue Jackets on the bubble as far as the post season is concerned... all of the teams unrestricted free agents could be the topic of stories until the deadline... but you can sure tell the admiration Hitch has for Fedorov with Sergei out of the lineup!
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings". The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcasters will try to keep you update on all the behind the scenes action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets hit the road. The next road game is 2/17 @St. Louis.