Game 58 Open Thread: Now or Never
These next four games are some of the most important in Jackets history. Starting tonight, I'm going to treat the next four games as a playoff series. Granted, the games aren't against the same team, rather they are against Chicago tonight, Nashville on Tuesday, Phoenix next Friday, and finally Nashvlle again next Sunday. The point is, the Jackets' results in these four games will decide whether they are buyers or sellers on Monday the 28th- trade deadline day, and in the bigger picture, whether they are a playoff team. As it stands right now, Chicago is one place and two points ahead of Columbus, sitting in 11th place with 64 points. Phoenix and Nashville sit 3-4 in the West, with 71 and 70 points respectively.
Let's focus on the game tonight, Game One, if you will. The Blackhawks are in the same boat as Columbus- trying their damndest to crawl up the Western Conference standings, within striking distance of eighth place. Chicago is a strong team, but you already knew that. Columbus is one of the hotter teams in the conference right now, but they will need to set the tone early against the 'Hawks and eliminate their various offensive threats.
The Jackets will see the return of Ethan Moreau, but will again be without Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and Rostislav Klesla. At this time we're not sure if John Moore will be in the lineup, I sure hope he is.