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Game Thread 61: Colorado Avalanche at Columbus Blue Jackets

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I don't even know how I missed the symbolism in my preview. I gushed about how this could be Rick Nash's last home game in a Jackets uniform, and completely glossed over the fact that this is game #61 on the season. That's a bit too messed up, even for my "I don't believe in ghosts of the Loch Ness Monster" sensibilities.

None the less, we get our first look at the Avalanche since back in October. The Jackets have played 56 games since the last time these two met. That's some crazy scheduling; Columbus has played its entire season series with San Jose, Anaheim, and has finished playing Nashville since the last time these two clubs went at it.

Colorado is a speed team, and that has often given the Jackets problems. Columbus gets James Wisniewski back tonight, has called up Cam Atkinson with the loss of Antoine Vermette and Jeff Carter to the forward corps, and Curtis Sanford is back off of IR, though it appears that he will be the backup tonight.

As the cloud of the trading deadline hangs overhead and the winds outside howl (seriously... my garbage cans were like four houses away when I got home today... WTF, February weather?), the Jackets look to build on a 5-3-1 string of solid play--minus a game or two here and there--in the face of perhaps seeing their Captain and the face of their franchise skate in his home building for the last time.

If this is it, enjoy it folks.