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The Playoff Push Begins Tonight!!

by Jeff Rimer / Columbus Blue Jackets

January 27

Well... here we are the post All-Star break portion of the NHL schedule and the Blue Jackets begin the second half stretch two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot and just four points out of fifth place with a game in hand on Phoenix!... 10 of the next 13 Blue Jacket games will be played at Nationwide Arena where the team has gone 8-2-0 in the last 10!

These next 13 games won't decide if the CBJ are playoff bound but will go a long way towards determining the Blue Jackets chances of claiming a post season spot for the first time in franchise history.

Freddie Modin will be a game time decision. A shoulder problem not believed to be serious but enough to keep him from this morning's skate... and if he is unable to go Andrew Murray who took Modin's spot this morning will play in his place.

There will be no Pavel Datsyuk or Nicklas Lidstrom in the Red Wings lineup... both suspended with pay for missing last weekend's All-Star festivities in Montreal. I truly can respect the Wings being upset about the suspensions, but I can also tell you that the Blue Jackets were informed if Rick Nash did not go to the all star game he would not be playing this evening and the CBJ and Rick both were contemplating him taking the weekend off to rest his knee.

I suspect despite the Wings missing the two all stars and Brad Stuart tonight's game will be a tough one. The Red Wings are upset, feel the League has done them an injustice and the CBJ will need a huge effort tonight!

Detroit will also go with just 17 skaters tonight. They are unable to make any call up because the two suspended players are not losing their salary for tonight's game and the Red Wings are at the cap.

Game time is 7 p.m. and yes Steve Mason will go for the Blue Jackets making his 16th consecutive start.

*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.

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