Question - when is a rivalry truly a rivalry?
Some people agree with what former Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock says, "A rivalry is not really a rivalry until the two teams meet in the playoffs." I do not necessarily agree with that premise.
The Blue Jackets and the St. Louis Blues, who meet late this afternoon at Nationwide, DON'T like each other. There certainly is history dating back to earlier visits by the Blues to Columbus this season and past years. This season there was "Soccer Gate" and the subsequent banter going back and forth between the two teams, especially in light of the comments made by R.J. Umberger after the Blues took exception to the Jackets winger running through their soccer warm up prior to the game.
Of course after that, T.J. Oshie broke his ankle in a scrum along the boards and really hasn't regained his form since.
All games are physical and there is no lack of intensity and I do not believe today's game will be any different despite the fact that neither team is headed to the playoffs and there is not a lot at stake other than placement for June's entry draft.
The expected goaltender match-up has Mathieu Garon likely facing Jaroslav Halak.
The Jackets will play today's game without Jan Hejda due to yesterday's suspension for two games, after Friday's hit on Chicago's Marcus Kruger. It was deemed an elbow to the head and with Hejda out Craig Rivet will draw back in.
Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, who has missed the last two games with as lower body injury, is questionable.
Today's game is a 5 p.m. start on FOX Sports Ohio with coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. with Blue Jackets Live.
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blog - Rimer's Game Day Ramblings. The Columbus Blue Jackets' television play-by-play man will try to keep you updated on all the season action through his blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.