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Weekly Report - Oct. 3: Blue Jackets Open 11th Season at Nationwide Arena on Friday vs. Nashville Predators

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

THIS WEEK’S GAME SCHEDULE/BROADCASTS (Times ET)
Friday, Oct. 7 vs. NASHVILLE PREDATORS, Nationwide Arena, 7 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/97.1 The Fan
Saturday, Oct. 8 at Minnesota Wild, Xcel Energy Center, 8 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/97.1 The Fan/CD101 at 102.5 FM

BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE
2010-11 Record:
34-35-13, 81 pts. (17-19-5, 39 pts. at home, 17-16-8, 42 pts. on the road)… Leading Scorers: RW Rick Nash (32-34-66, 75 GP)… LW R.J. Umberger (25-32-57, 82 GP)… C Antoine Vermette (19-28-47, 82 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Steve Mason (24-21-7, 3.03 GAA, .901 SV%, 3 SO in 54 GP)… Notes: Columbus went 23-31-10 vs. Western Conference opponents, including 8-11-5 in the Central Division, and 11-4-3 vs. the Eastern Conference… Club got off to best start in club history through 20 games with a 14-6-0 record… Columbus set franchise record for wins (19) and points (42) on the road… Blue Jackets averaged 2.56 goals per game, while allowing 3.05 goals-against… Power play converted 14.0 percent of its chances, while the penalty killing unit stopped 81.7 percent of opponent PP attempts.

OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
NASHVILLE PREDATORS –
Head Coach: Barry Trotz… Record: 44-27-11, 99 pts. (2010-11)… Posted a 7-1-0 mark in the preseason… Leading Scorers: LW Sergei Kostitsyn (23-27-50, 77 GP) and RW Martin Erat (17-33-50, 64 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Pekka Rinne (33-22-9, 2.12 GAA, .930 SV%, 6 SO in 64 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 18-35-10, including 14-13-4 at home… 13 of the last 16 games have been decided by two goals or less, including seven in OT/SO… Jackets went 2-3-1 in 2010-11… This Season: First of six meetings… Next game is Nov. 19 at Nashville.

MINNESOTA WILD – Head Coach: Mike Yeo… Record: 39-35-8, 86 pts. (2010-11)… Went 3-3-1 in the preseason… Leading Scorers: RW Martin Havlat (22-40-62, 78 GP) and C Mikko Koivu (17-45-62, 71 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Niklas Backstrom (22-23-5, 2.66 GAA, .916 SV%, 3 SO in 51 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 19-16-4, including 6-11-3 on the road… Columbus is 4-1-0 in the last five meetings and went 3-1-0 in 2010-11… All four meetings last year were decided by one goal… This Season: First of four meetings… Next game is Nov. 15 at Columbus.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE, OCT. 4-10 - CLICK HERE

TRANSACTIONS
Oct. 1 –
Assigned RW Tomas Kubalik, C Martin St. Pierre, D Nick Holden and D John Moore to the Springfield Falcons (AHL)… Placed RW Jared Boll on Injured Reserve.

OhioHEALTH INJURY REPORT
RW Jared Boll (broken thumb, Sept. 30 vs. Carolina; Injured Reserve on Oct. 1) is expected to miss four to six weeks…LW Kristian Huselius (torn pectoral muscle, surgery on July 14; Injured Reserve) is expected to miss four to six months… G Mark Dekanich (lower body injury, Sept. 20 vs. Winnipeg; Injured Reserve) is out two to four weeks… D Theo Ruth (lower body injury, Sept. 21 vs. Washington; Injured Reserve) is out two to four weeks… C Derek MacKenzie (lower body, Sept. 25 vs. Buffalo) is day-to-day… LW Matt Calvert (lower body, Sept. 20 vs. Winnipeg) is day-to-day.

BLUE JACKETS INTERACTIVE MEDIA GUIDE ONLINE NOW, COMING TO iTUNES STORE
The 2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets Interactive Media Guide is currently available on BlueJackets.com, the club’s official website. Media and fans will also be able to download the media guide to an iPad or iPhone for free via the iTunes store. The guide is expected to be available for download by the end of this week.

PRESEASON RECAP
Record:
5-2-1, including 4-0-0 at home and 1-2-1 on the road… Goals-For: 25 (3.13), Goals-Against: 22 (2.75)… Leading Scorers: D Fedor Tyutin (2-5-7, +3 in 4 GP), C Jeff Carter (2-3-5, 2 PPG in 4 GP) and LW Alexandre Giroux (2-3-5, +2 in 5 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Steve Mason (4-0-0, 1.98 GAA, .934 SV% in 4 GP)… Special Teams: Power Play: 18.8 percent (6-of-32), Penalty Killing: 80.0 percent (36-of-45)… Notes: The 5-2-1 record is the best preseason mark in club history… 19 different players scored goals for the Blue Jackets, including six with two goals.

BLUE JACKETS ON OPENING NIGHT
Columbus has posted a 4-4-2 mark in its previous 10 season-openers, scoring 26 goals and allowing 25 in those games… Eight of the games have been decided by one goal or less (3-3 tie vs. St. Louis in 2001) with three decided in overtime… The club is 2-1-2 when opening the season at Nationwide Arena… The Jackets have gone 3-1-1 in their last four season debuts, including a 3-2 loss vs. San Jose at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on Oct. 8, 2010… LW Rick Nash is the lone Blue Jacket to register a multi-goal game in a home opener as he scored two goals in a 4-0 win over Anaheim on Oct. 5, 2007… His four points in that game are the most by a player in a season-opener in club history… Former G Marc Denis made 25 saves to record the club’s only shutout in a season opener on Oct. 11, 2003 (5-0 vs. the NY Rangers)… All-Time Season Opening Results: Oct. 7, 2000: Chicago 5, at Columbus 3; Oct. 4, 2001: at Columbus 3, St. Louis 3 (OT); Oct. 10, 2002: at Columbus 2, Chicago 1; Oct. 9, 2003: at Atlanta 2, Columbus 1; Oct. 5, 2005: at Washington 3, Columbus 2; Oct. 6, 2006: Vancouver 3, at Columbus 2 (OT); Oct. 5, 2007: at Columbus 4, Anaheim 0… Oct. 10, 2008: Columbus 5, at Dallas 4 (OT)… Oct. 3, 2009: at Columbus 2, Minnesota 1… Oct. 8, 2010: San Jose 3, Columbus 2 at Stockholm, Sweden.

NEWS & NOTES
The Jackets have gone 23-18-2 in the month of October over the past four seasons… Columbus, which opens the season with games on consecutive nights, has gone 55-48-20 in back-to-back games since the start of the 2007-08 season… Columbus’s season-opening roster includes nine players who are set to make their CBJ debuts – C Jeff Carter, RW Cam Atkinson, G Mark Dekanich (IR), C Ryan Johansen, D Radek Martinek, LW Vinny Prospal, G Curtis Sanford, D David Savard and D James Wisniewski (suspended)… Four rookies appear on the current roster – Atkinson, Johansen, Savard and LW Maksim Mayorov.

Nash Enters Ninth NHL Season: LW Rick Nash enters his ninth NHL season just eight games shy of 600, 12 points shy of 500 and 28 shots shy of 2,000 in his career. The Jackets captain has collected 259-229-488 and 1,972 shots in 592 career NHL games and is the club’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, points, power play goals (77), power play points (163), game-winning goals (42), shorthanded goals (12), hat tricks (5), shots on goal, multi-goal games (41) and multi-point games (122). He has scored at least 30 goals in five of the last six seasons and has recorded 65-or-more points in four-straight campaigns.

Off-Season Acquisition Carter to Make Blue Jackets Debut: C Jeff Carter, who was acquired by the Blue Jackets in June from Philadelphia in exchange for Jakub Voracek, a first round pick (Sean Couturier) and third round pick (Nick Cousins), is set to make his CBJ debut Friday vs. Nashville. Over the past six seasons, he has notched 181-162-343 and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +51 in 461 games and has scored 30-or-more goals in three-straight seasons.

Nash and Carter Among NHL’s Elite Goal Scorers: Since the start of the 2007-08 season, only four players have scored more goals than new Blue Jackets teammates Rick Nash and Jeff Carter. The top six scorers in the NHL during that span are: Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (203), New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk (167), Calgary’s Jarome Iginla (160), Minnesota’s Dany Heatley (145), Carter (144) and Nash (143).

Iron Man Umberger Looks to Build on Career Season: LW R.J. Umberger has set the franchise record for consecutive games played at 246-straight since making his Blue Jackets debut on Oct. 10, 2008. He broke Jason Chimera’s record of 243 in a row from Oct. 9, 2005-Apr. 5, 2008. Umberger has played in 249-straight overall, dating back to Apr. 2, 2008 (with Philadelphia). In 2010-11, he set a career high in points (57) and fell just one goal shy of matching his career best (26 in 2008-09).

OPENING NIGHT FESTIVITIES SET FOR FRIDAY’S GAME VS. PREDATORS
The Blue Jackets host the Nashville Predators on Friday, October 7 in the club’s 11th season opener. Festivities get underway at 4:30 with a party on the Front St. Plaza featuring music, drinks and snacks, face painting and sign making, along with appearances by Stinger and club promotions teams. Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan’s “Common Man and The Torg,” show will broadcast live on the plaza from 3-6 p.m., while FOX Sports Ohio’s Ray Crawford, Bill Davidge and Dave Maetzold will host an expanded edition of the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show from their outside broadcast position starting at 6 p.m. In addition, all fans attending the game will receive a 2011-12 schedule magnet, courtesy of Papa John’s. Fans are encouraged to take their seats by 6:50 p.m. for pre-game opening ceremonies featuring player introductions and a new video and light show.

QFM96 BLUE JACKETS BREAKFAST CLUB TO KICK OFF SEASON THIS FRIDAY
Wags & Elliott will be hosting their annual QFM96 Blue Jackets Breakfast Club at the R Bar in the Arena District this Friday from 5:30 to 10 a.m. The popular morning show will feature appearances by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, head coach Scott Arniel, defenseman James Wisniewski, left wing Kristian Huselius and team broadcasters. Fans can also enjoy a breakfast buffet and win autographed Blue Jackets merchandise, while the first 50 people to arrive will win a pair of tickets to an upcoming home game.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
Friday, Oct. 7 vs. Nashville –
TIM HORTONS JACKETS PACK (every Friday home game) – Fans receive a game ticket, $10 food/beverage voucher, Blue Jackets hat, CBJ-Tim Hortons travel mug with voucher for a free coffee fill-up at participating Tim Hortons locations and Timbits 10-count snack pack. Prices start at $30 per person… LABATT BLUE ZONE HAT TRICK COMBO – Get a Lower Level ticket, a pre-game buffet and a post-game drink in the Labatt Blue Zone Pub for just $55 per person… Monday, Oct. 10 vs. Vancouver – MILITARY SERVICE NIGHT – All active and retired military personnel presenting a military I.D. at the Nationwide Arena Box Office receive a free ticket with an accompanying paid admission.

PAPA JOHN’S MONDAYS
Fans get free toppings on Pappa John’s pizza (large cheese for $9.99) every Monday during the season for each goal scored by the team in its most recent game. Fans can double the toppings with a Blue Jackets win! Columbus defeated Carolina, 3-2, last Friday so today’s offer is for six free toppings! Order by phone or online at www.papajohns.com using promo code CBJMonday.

BUY PEPSI OR DIET PEPSI AND SAVE ON BLUE JACKETS TICKETS
Fans who purchase specially marked cans of Pepsi and Diet Pepsi at local retailers will receive an offer to save up to $12 on a ticket for select Blue Jackets home games. Simply bring the cans to the Nationwide Arena Box Office for $12 off a Lower Level ticket and $8 off an AEP Power Level ticket for any home game between October 10 and November 21.

THIS WEEK ON JACKETS TV AT BLUEJACKETS.COM
This week’s scheduled Jackets TV features include: a look at the team’s practice and team-building trip to Oxford, Ohio; a season preview by club broadcasters; recap of the Meet the Team event for season ticket holders at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium; a sit-down interview with Jackets GM Scott Howson; Blue Jackets players reflecting on Opening Night and what it means to them; complete pre- and post- game day coverage and more.

STAY CONNECTED WITH THE JACKETS
Fans can follow the Blue Jackets online, watch game highlights, press conferences and exclusive behind-the-scenes video content on Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com. Fans can also get up-to-the-minute news and stories by following the Blue Jackets on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL. “Like” the club’s official Facebook ® page and get the latest club news and promotions, videos, photos, updates and interact with other fans at www.facebook.com/OfficialColumbusBlueJackets. Check out great videos on the club’s YouTube channel as well at www.YouTube.com/BlueJacketsNHL

BLUE JACKETS ON FOX SPORTS OHIO
Blue Jackets hockey returns to FOX Sports Ohio in 2011-12 with 79 live telecasts in high definition. Game night coverage includes the BLUE JACKETS LIVE pre- (begins 30 minutes prior to the start of each game) and post-game shows… BLUE JACKETS SLAP SHOTS returns each week this season on FOX Sports Ohio beginning on Monday, October 10 at 6 p.m.

BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO – Coach Arniel Show Debuts this Wednesday
The AlarmForce Blue Jackets Sunday Morning Skate can be heard on the Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network and Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Bob McElligott and Mark Wyant… The Coach’s Show with Scott Arniel airs on Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. beginning on October 5.

TICKET INFORMATION
Single Game: Tickets starting at $26 are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line Team Stores at the Chiller Easton, Chiller Dublin, Chiller North and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.comSeason & Group Tickets: For information on full and partial season ticket plans starting at $15 per game and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS or visit www.BlueJackets.com… Huntington Green Seats: A minimum of 250 tickets are available for just $10 at the Nationwide Arena Box Office two hours prior to every home game… White Castle Rush CBJ student tickets: Student tickets are available for $15 (AEP Power Level) and $25 (Lower Level) at the box office beginning one hour prior to all home preseason games or online beginning at 12 p.m. on game days at www.BlueJackets.com.

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