Despite a sold effort and points in three straight games, the Blue Jackets lost more ground in their pursuit of the eighth and final playoff spot. The Jackets dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Lightning in Tampa last night. Coach Scott Arniel was pleased with his team's play, and he should be, but with the shootout loss the CBJ are now seven points out of the final playoff spot with four teams ahead of them.
Talking this morning to Florida Coach Peter DeBoer, he is certainly pleased with his team's play. The Panthers had won three in a row before Monday night's loss to Atlanta, leading 2-0 in the third period only to lose 3-2 in a shootout. The Panthers currently sit 10th in the East, eight points out of the final playoff spot which is held by Atlanta with four games in hand.
That said and despite picking up four of a possible six points against good teams in their last three games, tonight's game is an important one for the Jackets. The club needs points NOW and a win is necessary tonight against the Panthers, who have picked up seven of a possible eight points in their last four outings. Tonight is a big game for them. DeBoer had high praise for the Blue Jackets after watching their game against Tampa saying, "I was really impressed with them last night and especially in the first period."
Steve Mason was one of just four players to travel from the beach to the BankAtlantic Center this morning. Mason who was scheduled to play last night, but is still bothered by his tender groin, might go tonight if he fees better. If not, Mathieu Garon will get his second straight start and I thought Garon played well throughout last night's game against Tampa Bay.
It's another 7:30 p.m. start on FOX Sports Ohio in HD - Blue Jackets Live gets underway at 7 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.