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PRE-GAME: vs. San Jose

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets



Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards did not announce any lineup changes for his team tonight, meaning last night’s forward lines will remain the same. Colton Gillies, claimed off waivers by the team this afternoon, is not expected to arrive in time for tonight’s game.

Curtis Sanford will start in goal for Columbus vs. the Sharks this evening and San Jose head coach Todd McLellan has tabbed Thomas Greiss as his starting netminder. The young German picked up a 2-1 win against the Blue Jackets at the start of the recently-completed road trip.

Here is the projected Sharks' lineup for tonight’s game at Nationwide Arena:

Marleau Thornton Pavelski
Clowe Couture Ferriero
McGinn Handzus Mitchell
Winchester Desjardins Murray
Vlasic Boyle
Demers Burns
Murray Bruan
  1. Manage the energy: Having played at home last night and coming off an emotional victory, the Blue Jackets will need all four lines involved as well as the three defense pairs to counteract a rested Sharks team. The Blue Jackets want to avoid a slow start against the speedy Sharks at all costs.
  2. Support the puck: The Sharks use their speed to counter-attack and transition better than any team in the NHL, and puck management and support is paramount any time you face them. Turnovers can end up in your net in a split-second and their power play is lethal.
  3. Forget last night: Richards spoke about putting last night's win in the past and focusing on the next task at hand: tonight’s game. The Blue Jackets played a solid team game vs. the Coyotes and they need to carry that over to tonight, Tuesday, Thursday and beyond.


R. Russell

Richards, on facing the Sharks tonight: "This is a great test for us. San Jose, to me, is one of the premier teams in the league. Standings-wise, they're probably not where they want to be, but right now, they're playing great hockey. It's a great measuring stick for us to see where we fit in."

Ryan Russell on how to beat the Sharks: "I think it's smart dumps and coming hard on our forecheck. We want to make it tough on their 'D,' making them go back for pucks and making it a long night for them. When you're forechecking hard, you’re creating a lot of opportunities and I think that’s one of the reasons we scored a lot of goals last night"

Here are some tips for fans attending the game at Nationwide Arena tonight:

• Doors will open tonight at 6:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. puck drop.

• Looking for some extra cash to pay off your holiday bills? Tonight is another opportunity to support the CBJF 50/50 raffle. For only $1, you can purchase a raffle ticket for the chance to win the night's pot. Tonight's raffle benefits the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. (The Food Bank was one of the charities Blue Jackets players visited on their day of service. If you haven’t seen the video, here’s another look.)

• Last night's game versus the Phoenix Coyotes marked the debut of the Immigrant Song opening video. If you’re not in arena for puck drop, here's a sneak peak.

• Make sure to grab the Official 2011-2012 Season Yearbook on your way in (or out) of the arena tonight. It's filled with player stats and profiles, some photos taken from memory lane, and much more.

• Win a trip to see Ryan Johansen at the 2012 NHL All-Star game. Stop by the R Bar in the Arena District after the game for your chance to enter a raffle to win an all-inclusive trip. Proceeds benefit the Blue Jackets Foundation.

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