If a win last night was a "must" and considering the result, a 4-2 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton, a Blue Jackets win over the Flames here in Calgary is IMPERATIVE!
The Jackets have managed just one point in the first three games of this five game road trip and now sit six points back of eighth place and the final playoff spot currently held by tonight's opponent the Flames. The Blue Jackets are six points back of Calgary with three games in hand but they mean very little without a victory tonight.
The Flames have been on quite a roll of late. Since late January when they were 14th in the conference, they have gone 13-3-3 to move into the top eight in the West.
Nothing official yet from the Flames, but watching their game against Chicago the other night it appears as if they've lost their number one center for a while. Brendan Morrison suffered a knee injury in that 6-4 loss to the streaking Blackhawks and had an MRI yesterday, the results of which will be announced later today. Morrison in 66 games has scored nine goals and added 34 assists playing alongside captain Jarome Iginla. Iginla has been the Flames best player in their resurgence.
As for last night, the Blue Jackets started out well, but after R.J. Umberger failed to score on another penalty shot the Oilers were able to cash in on a power play goal midway through the first. From that point on Edmonton pretty well controlled the game, on a night that we did not see the Jackets compete the way they have for the last several weeks. Steve Mason was not sharp and after allowing three Goals in a little over 20 minutes of play, was pulled in favor of Mathieu Garon. Garon kept the Blue Jackets in the game by stopping all 23 shots he faced.
The Blue Jackets power play went 0-for-5 after several games of solid production. Coach Scott Arniel in describing the power play offered, "our power play stunk, we didn't compete and didn't win many one on one battles."
As is the norm, Arniel does not disclose his lineup, so we will learn of who gets the start in goal at tonight's pre-game skate. I do think we might see defenseman Craig Rivet make his Blue Jackets debut against the Flames tonight.
Game time on FOX Sports Ohio is 9 p.m. and coverage begins with Blue Jackets Live at 8:30 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.