Here on Long Island, the Blue Jackets held an optional skate this morning although a fair number of players did take part. For the record, Coach Scott Arniel is not a proponent of morning skates, he simply wants his players to be 100-percent focused and ready when the game starts.
The Blue Jackets meet an Islanders team that has lost a record 13 in a row, a far cry from the teams that won four straight Stanley Cups in the early 1980s. In today's team meeting, Arniel told the players to be ready to play a desperate hockey team. The Islanders have a new coach, will be trying to make a strong impression on him and will be looking for anything of a positive nature to get them jump started. He went on to remind his team, "last year when we were going through our struggles, no one took it easy on us and we need to take advantage of the situation."
The key for the Jackets will be as Arniel mentioned to get on them early with a solid first period. The Blue Jackets are 11-1-0 when they score first and will be looking to get to starting goaltender Rick DiPietro from the opening faceoff. DiPietro was easily New York's best player Sunday in Atlanta in what turned out to be an 2-1 overtime loss to the Thrashers.
Mathieu Garon is expected to start for the Blue Jackets.
Game time tonight in HD is 7 p.m. on FOX Sports Ohio and don't forget in our first intermission we will go live to the Mall at Tuttle Crossing for the unveiling of the Blue Jackets new Third Jersey.
*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.