Game 40 Open Thread: A Visit to the Desert
The Jackets are in Phoenix tonight, taking on the Coyotes. The 'Yotes are just one point back of Columbus in the Western Conference, making this a separation game. For the Jackets to make the playoffs, beating the teams behind them in the standings is a must.
Phoenix is one of those teams that can beat you many different ways, mainly because they don't have a defined area of the game that they excel at. They don't have a go-to sniper like Rick Nash, nor do they have world-beating goaltending like Luongo in Vancouver, for example. I often compare the Coyotes to the Predators, a hard working, lunch bucket team with some savvy veterans. They might not wow you, but don't be shocked if they're the ones celebrating a 2-1 victory at the end of 60 minutes.
The Jackets are likely going with Mathieu Garon tonight, he has experience playing against the Pacific division from his days with the Kings. Mike Commodore is out again tonight, I'm starting to wonder if there is any connection between these healthy scratches and the times he was benched last year. I don't want to speculate.
This would be a great time for the Jackets to surprise and explode for 5 or more goals- can they do it?