Game 64 Preview: Crisis and Confidence

After the best February in team history, March came in like a sack of lion turds, and has yet to be cleaned up.

On the one hand, the team has only gone 0-1-1 since the trade deadline, but that loss last night made the team look absolutely wretched, and they simply cannot give away many more games. The team could go 12-3-3 in the remaining 18 games to make it above 95 points. Difficult? Probably? Impossible? No.

Against a Flames team that has played three more games on the season, they have to put last night in a box, dump it overboard, and get their shit together. Wins against Calgary tonight and St. Louis on Monday could put the team right back on track, but they have to earn them, and not just expect them to be given. They have to show confidence and come out like a team that expects to win, and not a team that is simply trying to survive.

Game Time: 9:00 pm EST
TV: Fox Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 WFAN
Blue Jackets vs Flames coverage

Opponent's Blog: Matchsticks & Gasoline

Rather than focus on the negative, can we talk for a moment about how Scottie Upshall is looking like the perfect fit for this team?

He's not afraid to hit, he's been on fire in the goal scoring department, and he brings the same kind of effort to the rink each night that we've seen from guys like Umberger and Calvert.

Perhaps it's just the New Relationship Buzz, but I really like what I'm seeing.

Sami Lepisto, though he wasn't a big force in his 4 minutes of PP time last night, has still been moving the puck well, aside from one early gaffe, and he's a +2 in his first two games. Not shabby, especially considering how last night went.

The Flames have been a team that came back from the dead this season. The Jackets are trying to master the same trick.

As the joke goes, let's see what happens.

Keys To The Game:

  • 20 Man Effort - It can't just be one guy on a hot streak, or one line clicking. Everyone needs to get on the same skate and play hard.
  • Don't Get Jiggy With Iggy - Jarome Iginla is one of the best, plain and simple. The Jackets need to minimize his impact.
  • Score Goals, Win Games - Since the offensive explosion against Phoenix, the Jackets have been struggling to put out more than two goals a game. They need to find the gas pedal again and get some pucks in the net, plain and simple.

Note: Murry is now confirmed as out. No word on the status of Craig Rivet for tonight, but likely he will play.

Blue Jackets Information:

Team Page Schedule
Roster Stats

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rick Nash Antoine Vermette Jakub Voracek
Scottie Upshall R.J. Umberger Matt Calvert
Chris Clark Samuel Pahlsson Derek Dorsett
Ethan Moreau Derek MacKenzie Jared Boll
Jan Hejda Sami Lepisto
Fedor Tyutin Marc Methot
Grant Clitsome Kris Russell
Mathieu Garon
Steve Mason

Calgary Flames

Alex Tanguay Brendan Morrison Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross Olli Jokinen David Moss
Rene Bourque Matt Stajan Tim Jackman
Niklas Hagman Mikael Backlund Tom Kostopoulos

Robin Regehr Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano Cory Sarich
Anton Babchuk Steve Staios
Miikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson

Tidbit: Drumsticks can also be chicken.

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