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What (more) to Watch For

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets Radio Color Analyst Bill Davidge brings 27 years of hockey experience as a player, scout and coach to game broadcasts on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS (AM 1460) and WWCD (FM 101.1). Prior to joining the broadcast team, he spent the 1999-00 season as a scout for the Blue Jackets and from 1995-99 served as a part-time scout for the Florida Panthers. He assisted with the evaluation of players as a part-time scout for the Detroit Red Wings from 1990-94.

Davidge, too, is looking forward to a few key games on the 2006-07 Blue Jackets schedule and breaks them down in part three of our four part series, What to Watch For. Fans, if you are as excited as Davidge is, single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Sept. 9, available at the Nationwide Arena box office, all Chiller locations, as well as here on

Friday, Oct. 20 - Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafts:
“Toronto, say no more, they are the New York Yankees of hockey, a history rich franchise that will be making a visit to Nationwide Arena for only the second time ever. And who can forget that first game, a 4-3 OT win for the Jackets. Rick Nash tallied a goal and former Jacket Tyler Wright had a hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime. An instant classic.

“The Leafs have undergone some changes over the off season promoting Paul Maurice from their AHL affiliate to become the 26th head coach in franchise history. The team brought in a new goaltender, former Boston Bruin Andrew Raycroft to replace injury-prone Ed Belfour. The club also brought Toronto native Michael Peca, fresh off a good post season with the Oilers

“Defenseman Bryan McCabe is coming off a career year setting a career high in goals, assists, points, power play goals (13), power play assists (32) and power play points (45).

“Newly acquired CBJ forward Fredrik Modin once played for the Maple Leafs, after being drafted by Toronto in the 3rd round, (64th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He suited up three seasons for the Leafs from 1996-99 before being dealt to Tampa Bay for Cory Cross.”

Columbus last played the Maple Leafs on Feb. 12, 2004, a 4-1 loss at Toronto. That loss dropped Columbus all-time mark to 1-2-1 in four meetings with the Leafs, including a perfect 1-0 mark at home.

Will the Jackets remain perfect at home against the Leafs? Don’t forget to assure that you get tickets to find out by logging on to or visiting the Nationwide Arena Box office or one of the Chiller locations, starting at 10 a.m. on Sept. 9.

Friday, Nov. 10 and Thursday, Feb. 22 - Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Edmonton Oilers:
“The Oilers are the defending Western Conference champions losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the Stanley Cup Finals. The team will have a new-look, after dealing defenseman Chris Pronger to the Anaheim Ducks.

“Obtained in that Pronger deal was highly-touted defenseman Ladislav Smid and Edmonton native Joffrey Lupul, who scored 28 goals in his second season last year with Anaheim. The Oilers also added sniper Petr Sykora, who has scored 225 goals in his career.

“The team will also have a full season with goalie Dwayne Roloson, who was on his way to the Conn Smythe award before being injured in the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals last season. He is recovered from his knee injury and Edmonton is looking forward to having a healthy Roloson for the entire season.

“Jason Chimera, an Edmonton native, started his career with the Oilers and scored the game-winner in the shootout vs. his hometown team in a 2-1 Jackets win on Feb. 2. This could also be a reunion of sorts for G Ty Conklin, who played for the Oilers last season before signing with the Jackets this summer.”

The Jackets split four games with the defending Western Conference Champions in 2005-06, winning a 4-3 overtime game vs. Roloson and the Oilers at Nationwide Arena on Mar. 11 and taking a 2-1 shootout win on Feb. 2 at Edmonton.

The two wins vs. the Oilers was the most in one season in CBJ history and matched the win total vs. Edmonton of the first 16 games vs. the Western Conference opponent. The Jackets now sport a 4-12-4 record in 20 games vs. EDM, having won two straight.

To order tickets for this game or any other game, log on to or visit the Nationwide Arena Box office or one of the Chillers. Single-game tickets go on sale on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 10 - Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Ottawa Senators:
“Ottawa, another Eastern Conference team that has only been in the building twice before. Columbus has never defeated Ottawa in five games and will be looking for their first win vs. the club.

“The Senators were unbelieveabley talented on offense last season, but was stymied in the playoffs by Buffalo, but still is a top-five team in the NHL.

“Dany Heatley is coming off a monster season and though the team did lose a few players to free agency, the offense should still be there. The team also attempted to shore up their defense, adding goaltender Martin Gerber, who won 38 games last season, his first as a full-time starter, last year in Carolina. He will be reunited with head coach Bryan Murray, who was the general manager in Anaheim, when they selected Gerber in the eighth round in 2001.”

Columbus is 0-3-2 in five meetings against the Senators, having not played them since Nov. 13, 2003, a 5-2 loss at Ottawa. Don’t forget to assure that you get tickets for this game by logging on to or visiting the Nationwide Arena Box office or one of the Chiller locations, starting at 10 a.m. on Sept. 9.

Sunday, Feb. 18 - Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Montreal Canadiens:
“Montreal was the eighth seed in the playoffs last year and went up 2-0 on the Carolina Hurricanes, only to lose Saku Koivu to injury and promptly lost four straight as Carolina went on to win the Stanley Cup.

“The big storylines around this club is the goaltending change as Jose Theodore was jettisoned for David Aebischer in the Montreal net at the deadline last season. After the trade, Cristobal Huet emerged and led the team to the playoffs and will be the starting goaltender for Montreal this year.

“The club added Sergei Samsonov as a free agent to help contribute on the offense and are expecting Koivu to return from injury this season. Add Samsonov to a lineup that already features Michael Ryder, Alex Kovalev and second-year player Chris Higgins and the team should be able to score.

“It will be the sixth meeting all-time against the Canadiens and only the second time they ever appeared at Nationwide Arena.”

The Jackets sport a 2-2-1 record all-time against Montreal, having not played them since a 1-1 tie at Montreal on Nov. 11, 2003, with Rick Nash scoring the lone CBJ goal. .

Fans, if you are as excited as Davidge is about this up-coming season and some of these great match ups, single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Sept. 9, available at the Nationwide Arena box office, all Chiller locations, as well as here on

If you are interested in coming to all of these games, purchase the Canadian Pack:
Friday, Oct. 20 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 10 vs. Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 10 vs. Ottawa Senators at 6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 22 vs. Vancouver Canucks at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 8 vs. Calgary Flames at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18 vs. Montreal Canadiens at 6 p.m.

To order,this package, click here or call (614) 246-PUCK.

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