Two big stories to come out of today's morning skate... first and foremost... after missing 10 games Pascal Leclaire returns to the nets here in Buffalo and secondly... Derrick Brassard... the NHL's leading rookie point-getter moves up to the top line centering Huselius and Nash. Says coach Ken Hitchcock "Brassard has played well and deserves time up there." Hitch expects to have Brassard on the first line for both tonight's tilt as well as the game tomorrow against the Wild in Minnesota.
Back to Leclaire... it was here in Buffalo last season that Pazzy shut-out the Sabres 3-0. Hitchcock debated whether he should start Leclaire or Steve Mason tonight, but decided after a conversation with Pascal that he was ready to go tonight and will play Mason tomorrow night in St.Paul against the Wild. Hitch in no way blames Mason for the disappointing loss to Phoenix Wednesday. Hitch felt the Jackets "hung Mason out to dry" in his words against the Coyotes... allowing three or four "two on ones" and a couple of breakaways.
A couple of other observations... RJ Umberger will play right wing alongside Chimera and Malhotra on the second line... and Jake Voracek moves to the fourth line with Boll either Murray or Novotny.
*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.