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WEEKLY REPORT: Oct. 24, 2005

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
THIS WEEK IN BLUE JACKETS HOCKEY: The longest homestand of the season for the Columbus Blue Jackets (2-6-0, 4 pts./5th, Central Division) continues this week with three games in five nights at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets host Central Division rivals Detroit and Nashville on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, before wrapping up the homestand on Friday against fellow Class of 2000 Expansion club Minnesota. The Blue Jackets then play the backend of the home-and-home set in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday, which marks the beginning of a four-game, seven-day road trip.

THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 to 90 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Oct. 25-31 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Wed. - 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Thu. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Fri. - 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Sat. – 11:30 a.m. (Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN)… Sun. – No Practice Scheduled – Travel to Edmonton… Mon. – TBA (Edmonton, AB). Practice times are local and subject to change. Only practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.

ROSTER REPORT: Oct. 19 - Assigned RW Jaroslav Balastik and G Pascal Leclaire to Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… G Martin Prusek returned to club following conditioning stint in Syracuse (AHL)… Oct. 18 - Recalled C Mark Hartigan and RW Steven Goertzen from Syracuse (AHL)… Oct. 17 – Placed C Dan Fritsche (ankle sprain) on Injured Reserve.

INJURY REPORT: C Dan Fritsche (ankle sprain, Oct. 16 at Los Angeles) is expected to miss approximately three weeks… C Gilbert Brule (sternal clavicular sprain, Oct. 7 vs. Calgary; IR – Oct. 8) will be sidelined six to eight weeks... D Rostislav Klesla (stress fracture of right leg, diagnosed on Sept. 26; IR – Oct. 3) is expected to miss four to six weeks… LW Rick Nash (ankle sprain, Sept. 14 practice; IR – Oct. 8 retroactive to Oct. 5) is day-to-day.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Detroit Red Wings – 8-1-0, 16 pts. (1st, Central Division)… Second of eight meetings… Jackets are 4-13-1-4 in the all-time series, including 2-5-1-4 at home… Nine of the 12 games played at Nationwide Arena have been decided by one goal or less, but Detroit earned 6-0 win on Oct. 22 in first meeting this season… Head Coach: Mike Babcock… Players to Watch – LW Henrik Zetterberg (4-7-11, 2 GWG in 9 games)… C Jason Williams (3-8-11 in 9 games, including hat trick vs. Columbus on Oct. 22)… G Manny Legace (8-1-0, 1.77 GAA, .925 SV%, 2 SO in 9 games)… Nashville Predators – 7-0-0, 14 pts. (2nd, Central Division)… First of eight meetings… Columbus is 8-11-1-1 all-time, including 5-4-0-1 at home… Jackets won last two meetings after dropping six-straight in the series… Head Coach: Barry Trotz… Players to Watch – RW Steve Sullivan (4-6-10, 3 PPG in 7 games)… LW Paul Kariya (2-5-7 in 7 games)… G Tomas Vokoun (6-0-0, 1.95 GAA, .934 SV% in 6 games)… Minnesota Wild – 5-3-1, 11 pts. (2nd, Northwest Division)… First and second of four meetings… Columbus is 7-6-1-1 all-time, including 5-1-1-0 at home… Wild have won three-straight at home since 2-1 loss to Jackets on Jan. 8, 2003… Head Coach: Jacques Lemaire… Players to Watch – C Marc Chouinard (6-5-11, 2 GWG in 9 games)… C Brian Rolston (4-5-9, 3 PPG in 9 games)… G Manny Fernandez (3-0-1, 1.48 GAA, .956 SV% in 4 games).

WEEK IN REVIEW: Oct. 21 – at Blue Jackets 4, San Jose 1: Jason Chimera scored two goals and Marc Denis made 25 saves to lead the Blue Jackets to the win. David Vyborny tallied his first goal of the season and Adam Foote scored his first as a Blue Jacket with .04 seconds remaining in the second period to give Columbus a 3-1 lead… Oct. 22 – Detroit 6, at Blue Jackets 0: Detroit's Jason Williams scored three of Detroit's four first period goals and Manny Legace stopped all 17 shots he faced to lead the Red Wings to their most lopsided win ever vs. Columbus. The Wings held a 36 to 17 shot advantage, including 17 to 5 in the first.

WRIGHT TO PLAY IN 300TH GAME AS A BLUE JACKET: C Tyler Wright is set to play in his 300th game as a Blue Jacket tonight (Monday) vs. Detroit. He will become just the second player (David Vyborny – 323 heading into the Detroit game) to hit the 300-game milestone in club history. He has collected 0-2-2 and 12 penalty minutes with a team-best +1 plus/minus rating in eight games this season. In 299 games with the Blue Jackets, he has registered 57-49-106 and 426 penalty minutes.

CHIMERA OFF TO GOOD START SINCE JOINING COLUMBUS: LW Jason Chimera leads the Blue Jackets with three goals in six games since joining the Blue Jackets on October 8 in a trade that sent LW Geoff Sanderson to Phoenix and brought Chimera, D Cale Hulse and RW Mike Rupp to Columbus. Chimera scored in his Blue Jackets debut on Oct. 9, a 3-2 win at Chicago and notched his second career two-goal game in a 4-1 win over San Jose on Oct. 21.

FOUR JACKETS NAMED TO RESPECTIVE COUNTRY'S "LONG LIST" FOR 2006 OLYMPICS: Four Blue Jackets have been named to their respective country's "long list" of players under consideration to compete in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Last week, Hockey Canada announced the selection of LW Rick Nash and D Adam Foote. In addition, RW Nikolai Zherdev (Russia) and D Radoslav Suchy (Slovakia) have also been selected for consideration. All participating countries are required to select their final men's hockey rosters of 23 players on or before December 22. Czech Republic and USA Hockey have not announced their long lists.

NEWS & NOTES: The Blue Jackets rank seventh in the NHL in penalty killing at 86.4 percent (51-of-59) and have killed off 18-of-20 opponent power plays at home (90 percent)… Columbus is 2-1-0 when scoring first and 0-5-0 when allowing the first goal this season… The Blue Jackets have been outshot in seven-of-eight games this season, including seven in a row since outshooting Washington 37 to 19 on opening night (Oct.5)… C Manny Malhotra had a five-game point streak (0-5-5) snapped vs. Detroit on Oct. 22… D Bryan Berard has 2-3-5 in his last six games… D Adam Foote, who scored his first goal as a Blue Jacket vs. San Jose on Oct. 21 and has 1-2-3 in his last five games, has logged 22:00 or more of ice time in seven-of-eight games… C Jan Hrdina has 2-1-3 in his last four games… Rookie RW Steve Goertzen made his NHL debut vs. San Jose on Oct. 21… G Martin Prusek stopped 17-of-19 shots in relief of Marc Denis vs. Detroit on Oct. 22 in his first appearance as a Blue Jacket.

WNCI HALLOWEEN PARTY SET FOR SATURDAY: The Columbus Blue Jackets and WNCI's Morning Zoo are teaming up for some Halloween fun. This $25 package includes: one ticket to the WNCI party in the Sky Terrace during the Friday, Oct. 28 game game vs. the Minnesota Wild, one ticket to a post-game Halloween Party at Frog, Bear and Wild Boar Bar in the Arena District, and one JACKETS TIME T-Shirt (while supplies last).

ICE BREAKER ON FSN AIRING BEHIND THE SCENES SERIES ON JACKETS: Blue Jackets Ice Breaker, which airs 30 minutes prior to each televised game on FSN Ohio, is showing a five-part series entitled Deal Makers and Game Breakers: The Blue Jackets Race to the Season. The series, produced by Rogers Sportsnet, aired nationally across Canada on the network earlier this month. The five-part series delivers a behind the scenes look at the off-season build-up to the 2005-06 NHL season for the Blue Jackets: Part One - NHL Draft Lottery (July 22) aired on Oct. 22. Part Two - Day Before the NHL Entry Draft (July 29) will air on Oct. 26. Part Three - NHL Entry Draft (July 30) will air on Oct. 28. Part Four - The first days of free agency (Aug. 1 and 2) will air on Oct. 29. Part Five - The first days of Training Camp (Sept. 11 to 13) will air on Nov. 1.

JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3 -4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.
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