Game Thread 80: Columbus Blue Jackets at Phoenix Coyotes

Columbus Blue Jackets (27-45-7, 61 pts) at
Phoenix Coyotes (39-26-14, 92 pts) Arena, Glendale, AZ
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 10:00 PM EDT

This could be the Coyotes' last game in Phoenix.


Let that sink in for a minute. Then, even if you dislike JPM and Mike Priest, thank them for getting the Nationwide Arena lease deal done. There but for the grace of God and such. One can't imagine the city of Glendale continuing to write $25 million checks every year in perpetuity.

In all seriousness, the Coyotes are currently clinging to the seventh spot in the conference, but there is a massive logjam at the bottom end of the playoff spectrum in the West. Every point counts. And, as I'm sure the Coyotes have pointed out to themselves, they've yet to earn a point off of the Blue Jackets yet this season.

Let THAT sink in for a minute.

The Jackets go for the sweep tonight in the desert. They get James Wisniewski back on defense, and look to continue to ride the Allen York wave in search of their second four-game winning streak of the year, and in turn a four-game season series sweep of the Coyotes. Former Jacket Antoine Vermette--sent over at the trading deadline--hopes to stop that.

Steve Mason is back as the back-up to York tonight for Columbus. For the Coyotes, Mike Smith is riding a two-game shutout streak, and hasn't been scored on in almost eight full periods. Yikes. Hopefully the Jackets can continue their improved scoring of late and solve Smith early and often.

Enjoy the game!

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