First and foremost, lest anyone think I'm being a smart ass with the headline, know that I saw a movie about Terry Fox when I was a kid, and he's always been somewhat of a bad-ass hero of mine. Dude was AWESOME. I used that as the headline because of the amount of miles the Jackets are about to cover across Canada.
They're in Vancouver tonight to kick off a four-game Canada roadie that will take them all the way through the Western Canadian corridor and then on to Montreal. The Jackets are coming off a loss in which they had a lead, gave a last-ten-seconds-in-a-period goal, and lost because they simply can't keep opponents' PPs off the board. That said, it wasn't all bad.
Curtis Sanford continues to impress, and for stretches the Jackets still looked strong. Their defense has improved dramatically, and it will have to be good again tonight against the Canucks. The Flying Sedins have 49 points combined in 23 games. This could be a game where the top line that can assert itself is the team that will win.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(6-14-3, 15 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)
|Vinny Prospal||Jeff Carter||Rick Nash|
|R.J. Umberger||Mark Letestu||Ryan Johansen|
|Antoine Vermette||Samuel Pahlsson||Derek Dorsett|
|Derick Brassard||Derek MacKenzie||Jared Boll|
|Fedor Tyutin||Nikita Nikitin|
|Marc Methot||James Wisniewski|
|John Moore||Grant Clitsome|
(13-9-1, 27 Points; 2nd Division, 9th Conference)
|Daniel Sedin||Henrik Sedin||Alexandre Burrows|
|David Booth||Ryan Kesler||Chris Higgins|
|Manny Malhotra||Cody Hodgson||Jannik Hansen|
|Aaron Volpatti||Maxim Lapierre||Dale Weise|
|Kevin Bieksa||Dan Hamhuis|
|Alexander Edler||Sami Salo|
|Keith Ballard||Andrew Alberts|
10/10/11 - Canucks 3 at Blue Jackets 2 - recap
11/29/11 - Blue Jackets at Canucks
12/13/11 - Canucks at Blue Jackets
03/17/12 - Blue Jackets at Canucks
By The Numbers
CBJ - 2.41 G/G (23rd)
VAN - 3.00 G/G (7th)
CBJ - 3.13 GA/G (23rd)
VAN - 2.52 GA/G (13th)
CBJ - 14.1% (23rd)
VAN - 25.3% (1st)
CBJ - 74.7% (29th)
VAN - 87.0% (6th)
- Special Teams - The Jackets' PK had done fairly well for a few games, and then it let them down at the worst time against St. Louis the other night. It certainly won't get any easier tonight. The Canucks' PP unit is lethal, and given the Jackets' issues on the PK this year they simply cannot let that dictate the outcome of the game. Discipline is the name of the game tonight.
- Streaking? - The Jackets, after losing their first seven on the road, have points in three straight road games (1-0-2). The road in Western Canada has a way of stealing their soul, so let's see if their improved road play can continue.
- Lines and Scratches - It looks like the Jackets will be icing the same lineup from Sunday night. Whither Derick Brassard?  According to Porty, Brass is in tonight and has been promised a little more ice time. Can't see Arniel mixing up the other three lines that have been successful, so does that mean more time for the fourth line tonight?
- Speaking of Goalies... - Cory Schneider is pushing for the #1 job in Vancouver. An interesting decision may be coming soon for the Nucks.
This one is the first crazy-late start of the year. Do your best. I can't promise I'll be there for the game thread, so try to pick up after yourselves. Cheers!