The Blue Jackets with points in five straight (3-0-2) host Anaheim tonight in the final game prior to the All-Star break. Watching the team practice yesterday and talking to several of the players after the high tempo workout, it appears as if the team has their swagger back and let's hope it continues against the Ducks and for some time for that matter.
Coach Scott Arniel fashioning a Pittsburgh Steelers hat for his post practice meeting with the media (he is a huge Steelers) says what pleased him the most on the just completed road trip was, "everyone was on the same page. The guys recognized the benefits of playing as a team. We played physical and our fore-checking game was working."
Speaking specifically Arniel praised the fourth line talking about Matt Calvert's quickness, Derek MacKenzie's work on the penalty kill, not to mention his hitting since returning to the lineup and with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek spoke of Jared Boll using those special moves to score the game's tying goal on a breakaway.
Arniel and the Jackets are looking to avenge their 6-0 white washing by the Ducks in Anaheim earlier this month. The Blue Jackets coach says "we have played well against them except for that last meeting." Somewhat surprisingly, the Ducks are playing relatively well despite missing their big center and team captain Ryan Getzlaf, who is out until after the All-Star break because of facial fractures. The Ducks have won 8 of 11 with Getzlaf on injured reserve.
Steve Mason looks like he will again get the starting nod in net.
Speaking of starting... it looks like the Blue Jackets power play is starting to click. The Jackets have power play goals in five of the last six games and are 5 for 24, 20.8-percent over that stretch. It's no coincidence that the six games coincide with the six Grant Clitsome has played since his recall from Springfield.
Tonight's game is on FOX Sports Ohio beginning 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.