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Rookie coach not afraid to sit his stars

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - In their 10 seasons of mostly forgettable hockey, the Columbus Blue Jackets have had their share of swoons.

Heck, some years were pretty much one, long free fall.

A succession of coaches has reformulated lines, tinkered with the defensive pairs and called up fresh personnel.

But when the Blue Jackets hit a rough spot this year, rookie coach Scott Arniel simply started benching players. And so far, it's a tactic which has worked. He's certainly gotten everyone's attention, if nothing else.

Heading into the week, the Blue Jackets are 25-22-5 for 55 points, just five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the deep and talented Western Conference. They face a stern test at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

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