COLUMBUS OH - JANUARY 14: Antoine Vermette #50 of the Columbus Blue Jackets beats goaltender Joey MacDonald #31 of the Detroit Red Wings for the winning goal during a shootout on January 14 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. Columbus defeated Detroit 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
After a tense, emotionally charged win last night against the Detroit Red Wings, the Blue Jackets packed their gear, put on their traveling clothes, and took the short flight to Detroit. (Do you suppose they had to go through TSA / Security at the various airports at the same time as the Wings? If so, boy, how awkward...)
Tonight is, in its' own way, a bigger challenge than last night - while there is still some #MoneyOnTheBoard motivation for the players, you're being asked to carry over after a huge evening to face a team that wants a fair bit of payback - especially since you'll have to go into their house to play, this time.
|Game Time: 7:00 pm EST
|TV: Fox Sports Ohio (HD)
|Radio: 102.5 WWCD-FM
|Blue Jackets vs Red Wings coverage|
|Opponent's Blog: Winging It In Motown
We'll keep this simple - after all, we just saw these guys last night.
Keys To The Game:
- Aggression - It's not a mistake that some of the best plays for the Jackets last night came out of aggressive, simple moves. Under Arniel, this team plays some of its' best hockey when they get nasty and go after the puck without being afraid of consquences - I'd argue that part of the reason Detroit was able to get back into the game yesterday was players slowing themselves down and over-correcting in the hopes of not making a mistake after the Drew Miller SHG. This team cannot win while second-guessing themselves. They have to stay on top of it. Keep skating, keep hustling, and go get the puck. Don't wait for the game to come to you.
- Absences - As mentioned last night, the Wings lost Tomas Holmstrom to a broken hand. (I think I may have even seen the hit where it happened - he took a pretty big body check from Tyutin late in the third period and fell a little awkwardly onto the ice.) The Wings have called up rookie Tomas Tatar to take his place. Tatar was a very good player in last year's World Juniors, and has been settling into the pros in Grand Rapids, but he's no Holmstrom or Datsyuk. We cannot let him have an impact.
- Attack The Net - Joey MacDonald was lights out last night, but how much of that was adrenaline after coming in off the bench? Tonight, he's likely to get the start again. Getting after him, crashing the net, and getting the puck past him early would go a long way to shaking a bit of that confidence and setting the team up for a win.
Blue Jackets Information: Tidbit: So you want a goalie with a giant dragon on his mask? OK, then.
Blue Jackets Information:
Tidbit: So you want a goalie with a giant dragon on his mask? OK, then.