Nationwide Arena will be jumping tonight with the season's only visit by Sydney Crosby and the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins. The question is will the Blue Jackets have the jump back in THEIR step after going win-less in their last four games (0-3-1).
Last night in Buffalo the Jackets in no way shape or form looked like the team that a week ago was off to a franchise best start and the talk of the NHL's Young season.
The Sabres handed the Jackets their first shutout loss of the season and it wasn't even as close as the final 5-0 score. The CBJ, who went into last night's start having killed off 23 of the oppositions 24 power play opportunities over the previous six games, gave up three power play goals to Buffalo, who themselves had scored just five goals in losing three of their previous four games prior to last night.
Enough about last night! Burn the tape.
The Penguins come to Columbus unbeaten in 11 games (10-0-1). Captain Crosby is on a 14-game point streak and has back-to-back hat tricks in the Penguins last two home games. He leads the league in goals and points and is on a mission to be the game's number one star, what with all the talk on the breakout season of Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Good news for the Jackets tonight as Marc Methot, who has been missed while nursing an upper body injury, returns to the lineup. Methot, along with Rusty Klesla, has been the steadiest of Blue Jackets defensemen all season and should add a spark to the CBJ blueline. Just my thought, I wouldn't be surprised to see Methot matched up against the Crosby line tonight and also see some power play time. The Blue Jackets must find a way to get their power play producing. The are just two for the last 31 over the previous six games and it has fallen below the 10% mark for the season.
Great goaltending match up tonight with Steve Mason going for the Blue Jackets and Marc Andre-Fleury getting the start for the Pens. Fleury went 8-1-1 in November after a miserable start and has currently won seven straight.
Tonight's game on FOX Sports Ohio gets underway in HD at 7 p.m. The brand new proud papa Ray Crawford gets things started with 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.