Game 62 Open Thread: Clear Sailing

With the trade deadline in the rear-view, there are no significant dates on the NHL calendar between now and playoffs. This is stretch drive time, and the Jackets are primed to make a move in the standings.

They are a better team since yesterday morning. Newcomers Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto should be in the lineup, and I am excited to see what they can bring to the table. My guess is that the top six remains the same, with Upshall sliding in alongside Sammy Pahlsson on the third line. The pairings of Kris Russell-Grant Clitsome and Fedor Tyutin-Marc Methot should remain together, so look for Lepisto to skate with Jan Hejda. It`s unlikely that Craig Rivet is ready to be inserted into the lineup yet. Mase is in the cage tonight, looking to continue his run of hot play.

I`m on record saying that I think the Canucks will win the Cup. They are a deep and deadly team, with a bit of everything. Their defense has taken a hit of late, which has led to them losing some of their first place ground in the standings, but they remain a high-caliber squad.

This is the second of a five game roadie, so far the Jackets are 0-1 , and this trip will undoubtedly tell the story of whether the Jackets make the playoffs. Any way you slice it, this is an important game.

Go Jackets.

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