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Rimer's Game Day Ramblings - Feb. 22

by Jeff Rimer / Columbus Blue Jackets

February 22

Here we go again. It's the start of another BIG week for the Blue Jackets tonight. They host Nashville in the front end of a home-and-home series at Nationwide that will see the red hot Phoenix Coyotes make a Friday night appearance in Columbus that will be sandwiched in between the two games with the Predators.

I had an early morning visit with Nashville Head Coach Barry Trotz today and the personable Predators bench boss is very impressed with the Jackets recent play and what the first year Columbus coach Scott Arniel has accomplished behind the Jackets bench. Trotz is a very sincere individual and it wasn't just coach speak.

"The Blue Jackets have been really impressive of late, they are strong on the puck," Trotz said.

Specifically, he spoke of Jackets Captain Rick Nash, saying "I have never seen him play better than he is right now. Nash incidentally, has points in 14 of the last 17 games. He has picked up 21 points in the 17 contests... nine goals and 12 assists.

The Blue Jackets as a team are 9-3-3 over their last 15 starts, including a franchise record six straight road wins. It's the road play that coach Arniel spoke of this morning when discussing the need to play better at home beginning tonight. "We get the last line change, we're getting the match-ups we want, we need to use our crowd and play the simple game (like) we do on the road."

Steve Mason is expected to get the start tonight for the Jackets, while Pekka Rinne will get the nod for Nashville. And how about the comments Rinne made to the Nashville paper the Tennessean today. Says the Predators number one netminder, "We just play those guys a lot, and they're a team we want to beat every time. The don't like us, and we don't like them."

I can't wait for the opening face off, which is tonight (on HD) at 7 p.m. on FOX Sports Ohio.

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*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.

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