The Blue Jackets are set to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Nationwide Arena. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET. It will be the first of two preseason meetings between the clubs, as Columbus travels to Pittsburgh to play in the new CONSOL Energy Center tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET.
Tonight’s game will feature a few Columbus players making their 2010 preseason debuts. To view the playing rosters for tonight’s game, click here.
Klesla Ready to Play
The last time Rostislav Klesla played an NHL game was Nov. 30, 2009 against St. Louis. He suffered a groin injury that kept him out the remainder of the season. After a long rehab process and summer of working to get back into shape, Klesla is ready to get back into game action.
“I am really excited. It has been a long time,” Klesla said. “I am really eager to get back and get back to game tempo, play with the guys and have some fun out there.”
Klesla said he has felt good through the first six days of Training Camp and is looking to play against some competition other than his own teammates.
“It’s going to be intense tonight,” he said. “There should be a lot of hitting and it will feel good to get back in that type of game.”
The thing that excites him the most about getting on the ice is that he feels that he is 100 percent and ready to get going in preparation for the regular season.
“(Camp) has been pretty good,” Klesla said. “Everything has been holding up well. So far, so good.”
Head coach Scott Arniel will get his first look at Klesla tonight and is anxious to see how the big defenseman will do in game mode.
“Rusty obviously missed a lot of hockey last year,” Arniel said. “I am sure he is excited about getting back and playing. I am sure, like everybody, there will be a little bit of rust, but let’s hope not too much.”
Moreau Set to Make Blue Jackets Debut
After being put on waivers by the Edmonton Oilers and claimed by the Blue Jackets during the off-season, left wing Ethan Moreau is out to prove something. And starting tonight, fans should notice.
“It will be fun to get out there,” Moreau said. “I want to get hit, throw some hits. I’ll be ready to go. It should be fun tonight.”
Playing on a line with Samuel Pahlsson, Moreau will look to adjust to Arniel’s system and make sure he is in the right spot at the right time.
“I just want to get up to pace, up to speed,” Moreau said. “I just want to get my positional play down and for me, to be in the right spots is important and that’s what I’ll work on tonight.”
In addition to seeing Klesla, Arniel also wants to see how Moreau looks on the ice tonight in a game situation.
“I think Ethan is real excited about getting in and playing his first game here,” Arniel said. “He’s a guy that will bring energy and I am sure the fans will recognize him, not only his look, but the way that he plays the game.”
Goloubef Latest to Make Professional Debut
Former Wisconsin defenseman Cody Goloubef will make his unofficial professional debut tonight against the Penguins. The Blue Jackets second round pick from the 2008 Entry Draft, he played two seasons with the Badgers before signing his pro contract this past summer.
“It’s something you work for your whole career,” Goloubef said. “I just want to go out there, play my game and have some fun.”
The first game jitters should get out of his system quickly and he hopes to play a sound game and not over-think the game.
“I am not going to worry about making mistakes,” Goloubef said. “I am just looking forward to getting in there and show them what I got.”
He’ll be paired with Marc Methot, who he already feels comfortable with on the ice.
“He’s a guy who has been in the League for a few years now,” he said. “I think it will be a good pairing. I am ready to go. I can’t think. I just have to play.”
Playing Roster and Practice Times
The Blue Jackets playing roster for Saturday’s game at Pittsburgh has been announced and can be found by clicking here. Pittsburgh will release their roster Saturday morning. Game time from CONSOL Energy Center is set for 7 p.m. ET. Practice times for Saturday are below.
Playing Group (10-11 a.m., Nationwide Arena) – Boll, Brassard, Calvert, Dorsett, Filatov, Frischmon, Gabriel, Guenin, Hejda, Johansen, Machesney, MacKenzie, Mason, Mayorov, Moore, Nash, Ratchuk, Regner, Ruth, Savard, Tyutin, Voracek
Non-Playing Group (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Nationwide Arena) – Blunden, Clark, Clitsome, Commodore, Francis, Garon, Goloubef, Guite, Holden, Huselius, Klesla, Kolarik, Kubalik, LeNeveu, Methot, Moreau, Murovich, Murray, Neuber, Pahlsson, Prout, Sestito, Sigalet, Stralman, Umberger, Vermette, Wilson