Steve Mason will face former Dallas Star goaltender Marty Turco as the Blue Jackets host the Defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Friday. The Jackets, who split their two games with perhaps the top team in the West if not the entire NHL the San Jose Sharks in Sweden, will officially begin their home schedule of their 10th season.
It will also mark the coaching debut at Nationwide of new head coach Scott Arniel. The first year NHL coach told the media, after Thursday's practice, that he is pleased with the team's tempo and practices since their return from Sweden and is anxious to return to league play. Arniel says despite the eight or nine changes the 'Hawks have made from the Cup winning team that they are still an elite team, adding "they have replaced those that have departed with similar types of players."
Arniel asked about the numerous penalties they took in the two games in Sweden said "the team has addressed the 14 penalties all week" and added, "I hope they will respond, but it won't happen overnight."
In addition, to playing the Blue Jackets without defensemen Brian Campbell (injured) and Nicklas Hjalmarsson (second game of a suspension) the Blackhawks could be without Patrick Kane. Kane did not practice or depart for Columbus with the team and right now is doubtful for the game. Kane is suffering from an undisclosed illness, but if better Friday, he could join the team in Columbus.
The telecast is on FOX Sports Ohio and the first of 67 in HD. It begins with an extended one hour pre-game show at 6 p.m. Face-off follows the 10th Season opening ceremonies which will be televised in their entirety shortly after 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.