The Blue Jackets are back on home ice tonight at Nationwide looking to snap their four game losing streak courtesy of their just concluded Western U.S. trip. The Jackets had won three straight to end the calendar year, but are looking for their first win of 2011 as they host the Phoenix Coyotes. A week ago the CBJ fought back to tie the desert dogs at 2-2 before Phoenix scored twice, the goals :52 seconds apart to beat the Blue Jackets 4-2.
Head Coach Scott Arniel says the Jackets are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but with 40 games to go they must be more consistent and play with a sense of urgency.
Mathieu Garon will start for the Blue Jackets. I am told that despite the Coyotes getting to Columbus in the early hours this morning and not coming to the rink today following their 4-3 win over the Blues in St. Louis, Ilya Bryzgalov will go for Phoenix. The Coyotes also yesterday acquired defenseman Michal Rozsival from they New York Rangers for struggling forward Wojtek Wolski, and Rozsival has arrived in Columbus, but I have been informed that he will not play tonight. Perhaps Coach Dave Tippett wants Rozsival to practice with the team before he makes his Coyotes debut.
Grant Cliltsome, recalled from Springfield, is likely to play tonight although there is no word as to who will sit in his place. I do not anticipate any other lineup changes.
Tonight's telecast begins with Blue Jackets Live at 6:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. start in HD on FOX Sports Ohio.
*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.