The Blue Jackets are riding a modest two game winning streak and with four victories in their last five games, the club hosts the Edmonton Oilers at Nationwide tonight. The Oilers who were victorious in their first two games, both at home are winless in five (0-4-1) since.
Edmonton is going with youth this season have three outstanding rookies on their team including Taylor Hall the first overall pick in last June's entry draft out in Los Angeles. It's been somewhat of a slow start for the 18-year-old, he is still looking for his first NHL goal but make no mistake he is the total package. He led Windsor to back to back Memorial Cup Championships co-incidentally coached by present Blue Jackets Assistant Coach Bob Boughner.
In talking to Boughner this morning the CBJ coach said, "It was a pleasure coaching Taylor Hall. Not very often to you get a chance to coach a kid like that!" Boughner went on to say Hall plays with a lot of passion as well as his outstanding talent adding, "I have talked and texted him over the last two weeks and he is no different than Tampa's Steven Stamkos and once he gets his feet under him he be fine. He is a franchise player as long as he doesn't score against us."
The Oilers two other outstanding freshmen are Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi. Both are highly skilled and Edmonton's future is going to be a good one in my opinion. It was interesting talking to the media with the team here in Columbus and they tell me that the Edmonton fans, who have had all those glorious Stanley Cup years, are patient with the team's development and are not concerned about another poor season. They are hoping for another high pick next June so that the Oilers can add to their young stable of talent.
Kris Russell will not return to the lineup tonight. Head Coach Scott Arniel prefers to give Russell an extra couple of days to get back to 100 percent, meaning we are likely to see him back in action Saturday at Colorado.
Steve Mason returns to the nets tonight. He is expected to face Devan Dubnyk, who will make his first appearance of the season. Nikolai Khabibulin had started the Oilers first seven games and will get the night off.
Game time tonight is 7 p.m. on FOX Sports Ohio.
*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.