The Blue Jackets head to Western Canada tomorrow, but before they do they have an important match up with the New York Rangers tonight. It's a rare visit from the "original six " club and they come to Columbus on a role! The Rangers have won seven of their last 10 and are 5th in the NHL in wins with 17. The visitors also have the best road record in the League at 11-4-0 courtesy of a big 5-3 win Thursday at Ottawa.
As for the Blue Jackets, they must find a way to garner a victory tonight. They have dropped six of their last seven and Thursday's disappointing performance, a 4-1 loss to the Blues in St. Louis, must be erased with a big effort tonight against the Rangers.
A good crowd is expected at Nationwide tonight and as Coach Scott Arniel said following practice yesterday the Jackets must play with a "sense of urgency."
The CBJ have got to find a way to jump start their specialty teams. They have given up three power play goals in three of their last four games, and against the Blues the Jackets failed to score on eight man-advantage chances of their own including two five on three situations with a considerable time!
As for the penalty kill, coach Arniel says confidence in that part of their game is as simple as a "key kill."
Now, the power play is another story as the Jackets have struggled most of the season with the extra man and it now sits at barely the 10 percent level. Arniel says "other than Rick Nash we don't have pure goal scorers, so if we get one or two opportunities we have to bury them." The Blue Jacket must create traffic in front of the opposition's net, go to the dirty areas and compete for the pucks. Forget about making pretty plays, get the ugly goals because they count the same.
Tonight's game is a 7 p.m. start in HD on FOX Sports Ohio and is preceded by Blue Jackets Live at 6:30 p.m.
*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.