The Blue Jackets annual "Father's Trip" is well underway here in Tampa Bay. The players, coaches and their dads arrived mid-afternoon yesterday had a team meal and the dad's then introduced themselves and talked about their sons. It's a special time for the dads, the players and the coaches and as Derick Brassard told me this morning, he will have a little extra jump for tonight's game against the Lightning. I am certain that will be the case for the entire team. More on Brassard a bit later because there is for him even more motivation tonight.
Talking to Head Coach Scott Arniel this morning, after the Jackets took three points from the Red Wings, he said "I hope that last weekend is the spark that gets us going."
The Blue Jackets take on an explosive offensive machine in the Lightning, who have dropped two in a row for the first time since November when they lost three straight. They are led by Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, who leads the NHL in goals with 33. The Jackets MUST stay out of the penalty box tonight. Stamkos is the quarterback of their power play. He leads Tampa in power play points with 26 and PP goals with 14. St. Louis is having an outstanding season, is second in assists in the NHL with 37 and is fourth in points with 56. Arniel thinks the Jackets best chance for victory is to stay five on five, which again speaks for the need to be disciplined.
Back to Brassard, he played junior in the Quebec Major Junior League for Tampa Coach Guy Boucher and says, "Boucher helped me be a lot better player, showed me how to be a leader and of all my coaches, he taught me the most."
Brassard went on to say along with his dad on the trip, playing with Boucher in the building Tuesday will provide him with a little extra motivation.
Steve Mason will get the start for the CBJ with Tampa going with Dwayne Roloson. Rusty Klesla should be back after falling ill prior to the game in Detroit Saturday night. He will draw in for Anton Stralman and no other changes are expected.
It's a 7:30 p.m. start tonight in HD.
*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.