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Weekly Report: Sixth Place Blue Jackets Visit Chicago St. Louis Before Season Finale vs. Minnesota

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

THIS WEEK’S GAME SCHEDULE (Times ET)


Wed., Apr. 8 at Chicago Blackhawks, United Center - 8:30 p.m.   FSO/1460, CD101
Fri., Apr. 10   at St. Louis Blues, Scottrade Center, 8:30 p.m.          FSO/1460, CD101
Sat., Apr. 11  MINNESOTA WILD, NATIONWIDE ARENA - 7 p.m.   FSO HD/1460, CD101

FSO – FOX Sports Ohio; 1460 – WBNS-AM 1460 The Fan; CD101 – CD101.1 FM

**(Broadcast Note: Due to conflicts this week in Cleveland (Cavs) and Cincinnati (Reds), fans in those markets will be able to watch FOX Sports Ohio's coverage of Wednesday's Blue Jackets-Blackhawks game on Dish Network Ch. 474 and Direct TV Ch. 680, as well as Friday's Blue Jackets-Blues contest on Dish Network Ch. 452 and Direct TV Ch. 680.)

 

BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE
Record: 40-29-10, 90 pts./3rd Central Division… Streak: 1-0-2, winless in two-straight… Home: 25-12-3, 1-0-1 in last two… Road: 15-17-7, 3-0-3 in last six… Last Week’s Results: 1-0-2… Mar. 31 – at Columbus 2, Nashville 1… Apr. 4 – at Nashville 5, Columbus 4 SO… Apr. 5 – Chicago 1, at Columbus 0 OT.

 
WESTERN CONFERENCE "MARCH TO THE PLAYOFFS"

Standings as of Apr. 6 (*division leaders)

  Team
GP Record Pts. Games Left Games Left - Home Games Left - Away Opp. this Week
1. Y-*San Jose 79 52-16-11 115 3 2 1 COL, PHX, at LA
2.
X-*Detroit
78 50-19-9 109 4 2 2 at BUF, NSH, CHI, at CHI
3. *Calgary 78 44-28-6 94 4 2 2 at LA, at VAN, at EDM, EDM
4. Chicago 78 43-24-11 97 4 2 2 at NSH, CBJ, at DET, DET
5. Vancouver 79 42-27-10 94 3 2 1 CGY, LA, at COL
6. Columbus 79 40-29-10 90 3 1 2 at CHI, at STL, MIN
7. Anaheim 80 41-33-6 88 2 1 1 DAL, at PHX
8. Nashville 79 39-32-8 86 3 1 2 CHI, at DET, at MIN
9. St. Louis
79 38-31-10 86 3 1 2 at PHX, CBJ, at COL
10. Minnesota
79 37-33-9 83 3 2 1 DAL, NSH, at CBJ
11. Edmonton 79 37-33-9 83 3 2 1 LA, CGY, at CGY

X-Clinched Playoff Spot; Y-Clinched Division

 
HOW THE BLUE JACKETS CAN CLINCH:
The Blue Jackets need three points to clinch their first Stanley Cup Playoffs berth. The Jackets will pick up two points towards clinching with any win or a regulation loss by Nashville or St. Louis. One point is gained with an overtime or shootout loss by Columbus, Nashville or St. Louis. Here are the four possible scenarios. The Blue Jackets clinch if:

1. CBJ gets three points or more in final three games.

2.CBJ goes 1-2-0 this week AND any of the following occurs: St. Louis goes 2-0-1 or worse; Nashville goes 2-0-1 or worse; Anaheim goes 1-0-1 or worse.

3. CBJ goes 0-2-1 this week AND any of the following occurs: St. Louis goes 2-1-0 or worse; Nashville goes 2-1-0 or worse; Anaheim goes 1-1-0 or worse.

4. CBJ goes 0-3-0 this week AND any of the following occurs: St. Louis goes 1-1-1 or worse; Nashville goes 1-1-1 or worse; Anaheim goes 0-1-1 or worse.

 


OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (43-24-11, 97 pts./2nd Central Division): Head Coach Joel Quenneville… The Hawks are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and have clinched their first playoff berth since 2001-02… Chicago has posted a 34-18-8 record within the Western Conference this season… Club is led by RW Martin Havlat (27-44-71 in 77 games) and second-year standouts RW Patrick Kane (24-42-66, 13 PPG in 76 games) and C Jonathan Toews (32-34-66, 12 PPG and seven GWG in 78 games)… G Nikolai Khabibulin is 23-8-6 with a 2.39 GAA, .918 SV% and two shutouts in 39 games… The Blue Jackets are 23-22-5 all-time vs. the Blackhawks, including 9-13-2 on the road… Columbus is 19-13-3 since the start of the 2003-04 season… Chicago won the first two meetings – 4-3 in a shootout at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 1 and 3-1 at United Center on Dec. 14 – before the Jackets earned a 5-3 win in Chicago on Mar. 13 and a 4-3 overtime win at home on Mar. 18… The Hawks earned a 1-0 OT win at Nationwide Arena on Apr. 5.

ST. LOUIS BLUES (38-31-10, 86 pts./5th Central Division): Head Coach Andy Murray… The Blues have gone 24-10-7 since Jan. 3… St. Louis is 13-6-4 vs. the Central Division this season, which is second only to Detroit's 14-6-1 mark… The Blues are led by RW Brad Boyes (32-37-69, 16 PPG, 10 GWG in 79 games), RW David Backes (31-22-53, team-high 163 PIM in 79 games) and C Keith Tkachuk (22-22-44, 13 PPG in 76 games)… G Chris Mason is 24-21-7 with a 2.51 GAA, .914 SV% and five SO in 54 games… The Blue Jackets are 18-22-10 all-time vs. St. Louis, including 6-14-5 on the road… Columbus has gone 13-11-5 vs. the Blues since the start of the 2005-06 season… The Blues have won four of the previous five meetings this season – 5-2 at home on Jan. 3, 4-2 at Nationwide Arena on Feb. 3, 4-3 in a shootout at home on Mar. 28 and 5-2 in Columbus on Mar. 29. The Jackets’ lone win was a 4-3 decision at Nationwide Arena on Feb. 18.

MINNESOTA WILD (37-33-9, 83 pts./3rd-T Northwest Division): Head Coach Jacques Lemaire… Minnesota ranks second in the NHL in goals-against average, allowing 2.39 per game (Boston, 2.24)… The Wild is 21-11-7 at home and 16-22-2 on the road… The club is led by C Mikko Koivu (18-44-62 in 76 games), LW Andrew Brunette (21-26-47, eight PPG in 77 games) and RW Marian Gaborik (10-5-15 in 14 games since returning from injury)… G Niklas Backstrom is 35-24-8 with a 2.33 GAA, .923 SV% and eight shutouts in 69 games… The Blue Jackets are 14-12-4 all-time vs. the Wild, including 10-3-1 at home… The Wild won the first two meetings this season on home ice, 2-1 on Oct. 25 and 3-2 in a shootout on Nov. 15… Columbus earned a 4-2 win in the last meeting at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 10.

 
PRACTICE SCHEDULE, Apr. 7-12 (times subject to change)

Tuesday, Apr. 7        Dispatch Ice Haus - 10:30 a.m. ET
Wednesday, Apr. 8  United Center, Chicago - 11:30 a.m. CT
Thursday, Apr. 9       Scottrade Center, St. Louis - 1 p.m. CT
Friday, Apr. 10          Scottrade Center, St. Louis - 11:30 a.m. CT
Saturday, Apr. 11     Nationwide Arena - 10:30 a.m.

 
OhioHealth INJURY REPORT
C Derick Brassard (dislocated shoulder, Dec. 18) will miss the rest of the season… LW Fredrik Modin (Mar. 5 at Nashville) is day-to-day… D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Injured Reserve, Feb. 21) will miss the rest of the season… D Rostislav Klesla (Mar. 28 at St. Louis) is day-to-day… LW Kristian Huselius (Apr. 4 at Nashville) is day-to-day… Man Games Lost to Injury: 325.

 
INDIVIDUAL NOTES

NASH TIES PAIR OF FRANCHISE RECORDS: LW Rick Nash registered his sixth multi-goal game (and 23rd multi-point outing) of the season with a pair at Nashville on Apr. 4 and has now collected a career-high 38-38-76 in 75 games. His six multi-goal games ties the club record set by Geoff Sanderson in 2002-03, while his 76 points matches the club mark set by Ray Whitney in 2002-03 when he notched 24-52-76 in 81 games. The four-time All-Star has already blown past his previous career highs for points (69, 2007-08), assists (31, 2007-08) and multi-point games (club record – 19, set three times previously) and is three goals shy of the 41 he scored in 2003-04. He currently ranks fifth (tied) in the NHL in goals and 18th in points.

MASON CONTINUES TO MAKE A STRONG CASE FOR THE CALDER TROPHY: Rookie G Steve Mason went 1-0-2 with a 1.91 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in three games last week to improve to 32-18-7 with a 2.22 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 58 games this season. The 20-year-old leads the NHL in shutouts, ranks second in goals-against average (Boston's Tim Thomas – 2.07), seventh in save percentage and ninth in wins. He has allowed two goals or less in 32 of his 58 starts.

VORACEK EYEING NASH'S ROOKIE SCORING RECORD: RW Jakub Voracek has collected 9-28-37 and is +11 in 77 games this season and needs two points in three games this week to match the club record for points by a rookie. LW Rick Nash set the current mark when he tallied 17-22-39 in 74 games in 2002-03. Voracek currently ranks second among NHL rookies in assists, is eighth in plus/minus rating (tied) and 10th (tied) in points.

MISCELLANEOUS: C/RW Jason Williams had his season-high six-game point streak (3-5-8) snapped vs. Chicago on Apr. 5, but has still tallied 6-10-16 in his last 16 outings… C Manny Malhotra has collected 11-23-34 in 74 games to set new career highs in assists and points. He is one goal shy of the career-best 12 he scored in 2003-04… LW Raffi Torres scored his team-leading sixth game-winning goal vs. Nashville on Mar. 31, which is one shy of the club record of seven held by Geoff Sanderson (2000-01)… C/LW R.J. Umberger has needs four goals in three games to hit the 30-goal mark for the first time… D Jan Hejda, who leads the club with a +22 plus/minus rating and is +42 in 160 games as a Blue Jacket, will play in his 200th NHL game at Chicago on Wednesday… D Christian Backman played in his 300th NHL game vs. Nashville on Mar. 31.

 


TEAM NOTES

BLUE JACKETS CONTINUE TO RACK UP POINTS:
With a 1-0-2 mark in three games last week, Columbus improved to 8-2-4 since Mar. 7 and has registered at least one point in 12 of its last 14 games. The club hasn't lost consecutive games in regulation since Feb. 21 (5-2 vs. Anaheim) and Feb. 24 (4-1 at Calgary), is 6-2-1 in its last nine games at Nationwide Arena and 6-3-3 in its last 12 road games since a 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Feb. 6. The Jackets are 3-0-3 in their last six road games to set a new franchise record for consecutive road games without a regulation loss.

MISCELLANEOUS: Since beginning the season 3-6-0 in their first nine games, the Jackets have gone 37-23-10… Columbus has posted an 18-9-5 record since the All-Star break… The Jackets have gone 16-6-5 since Feb. 7 with 23 of those 27 games coming against teams that are currently .500 or better… Through 40 home games, the club's average attendance is 15,458 with six sellouts of 18,144 or more. Last year, Columbus averaged 14,509 in 41 home games with two sellouts… The Jackets have averaged 16,572 fans in 23 home games with six sellouts since Dec. 27… With a point in Sunday's 1-0 OTL vs. Chicago, the Blue Jackets reached the 90-point mark for the first time in franchise history… Columbus is 9-9-3 vs. Central Division rivals this season with games remaining at Chicago and St. Louis… The club has posted .500 or better records against every division in the NHL except the Pacific (6-12-2)… The Jackets have gone 10-10 in games decided in overtime (5-3) or the shootout (5-7) this season.

 

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
SATURDAY, APR. 11 VS. MINNESOTA WILD IS FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT:
The Blue Jackets play their final regular season game of the season on Saturday vs. Minnesota and all fans in attendance will receive a free team poster courtesy of Cartridge World. Fans will have the chance to win a variety of prizes throughout the evening and a number of lucky attendees will be presented with autographed game worn jerseys. In addition, the grand prize winner of the "Destinationwide" contest presented by the Blue Jackets, Nationwide Arena, Donatos, Pepsi and WLVQ-Radio "QFM96" will be determined with the winner receiving two tickets to nearly every game, concert and special event held at the arena for one year.

 


PROMOTIONS & CONTESTS

TIM HORTONS INTRODUCES "STINGER" DONUT:
As the Blue Jackets "March to the Playoffs," team partner Tim Hortons has introduced the Stinger Donut, a specially-themed vanilla dip donut adorned with colorful sprinkles, which is available at all central Ohio Tim Hortons stores through the end of the season. In addition, fans are reminded to celebrate every Jackets home victory with a free donut. The day after a win at Nationwide Arena, fans may show their game ticket at participating central Ohio Tim Hortons stores to receive one free donut with the purchase of a coffee.

BLUEJACKETS ON TWITTER: Fans have a new way to stay updated on all things Blue Jackets by following the team's new Twitter feed. Log onto www.twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL for the latest team news, promotions, special ticket offers, the March to the Playoffs and more!

JACKETS ALERTS FROM VERIZON WIRELESS: The "Jackets Alerts" program gives fans the opportunity to sign up to have breaking team news, game information and exclusive offers sent directly to their Verizon Wireless phone. By texting the word JACKETS to 79376, fans will be automatically signed up for the 2008-09 season. Standard messaging rates apply and service availability is on a carrier by carrier basis and based on handset compatibility.

 

FANS – SHOW THE BLUE JACKETS HOW YOU "CARRY THE FLAG": BlueJackets.com is giving fans the opportunity to show how they Carry the Flag! The team's official website is looking for creative content provided by fans about their favorite NHL team. Fans can visit www.BlueJackets.com and submit creative game previews or recaps (pdf, doc, txt), videos (wmv), photos (jpg, jpeg, gif formats no bigger than 1000 x 1000 pixels) or audio clips (mp3 or mpg) and the best submissions will be posted on the team’s website.

 


COMMUNITY NEWS

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS FOUNDATION DONATES RECORD $354,500 TO LOCAL GROUPS:
The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation awarded $354,500 in grants to several local non-profit organizations that serve the Foundation's main pillars of giving – pediatric cancer, education, children's health and safety, and youth and amateur hockey. The amount awarded represented the largest single year total in the Foundation’s nine-year history. Since its inception in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation has awarded approximately $2.3 million in community grants. For more information and to see a complete list of this year's grant recipients, visit www.BlueJacketsFoundation.org.

 


BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO

The Coach's Show with Ken Hitchcock airs on WBNS Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan and AM1460 on Wednesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. with the Jackets Head Coach, FOX Sports Ohio's Jeff Rimer and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley… Breakfast with the Blue Jackets can be heard on the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan and AM1460 on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.

 


TICKET INFORMATION

SINGLE GAME: Tickets 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.com... SEASON & GROUP TICKETS: For information on season tickets, six-game and 10-game plans, and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS… 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.

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