Blue Jackets vs. Coyotes
The Blue Jackets limp home to start off a four-game home-stand. The Coyotes are in town as part of a back-to-back for the Jackets (San Jose is here tomorrow night). Columbus is down another forward, with R.J. Umberger out with a concussion; Dane Byers takes his roster spot for the night.
The Jackets are catching the Coyotes at a good time. Phoenix is in the midst of a rough stretch of road games, having crossed the continent twice in the past few weeks, and playing in a stretch of 10-of-13 on the road. Perhaps Columbus can catch them a bit road weary, with the Jackets having been home and licking their wounds since Wednesday and the Yotes having played in Detroit last night.
To that end, Columbus has finally had a chance to practice a bit under new interim head coach Todd Richards. It remains to be seen how much will "change" per se, but Richards has finally had a chance to put the first part of his stamp on the club.
Finally, it's a homecoming of sorts for several former Jackets (two of which were CBJ first round picks): Rostislav Klesla plays his first game in Columbus since being traded to the Coyotes last year for Sami Lepisto and Scottie Upshall; the Jackets will give the fans a chance to show their appreciation with a pre-game video tribute. In addition, Gilbert Brule was just picked up by Phoenix off of waivers from the Oilers. Ray Whitney and Raffi Torres had brief but shining stints in the Union Blue. There may be an extra spring in their collective step.
Oh, did I mention it's also Friday the 13th? What other bad luck stuff can happen to this club? Tune it at 7 to find out!