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Blue Jackets Links

Wonky schedules, and the Stars come to Nationwide.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
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Did you know that the Blue Jackets are one of just two teams that have only played four games so far this season? We're over halfway through the month of October, and every other team has played between 5 and 7 games, with 8 games being the most ... and only because the two teams that have played that many -- the Ducks and the Kings -- started a week early with that wacky "home-and-home" in London.

Anyone who had hopped on to the Blue Jackets' roller coaster early last season probably remembers that the CBJ also were slow out of the gate as it pertained to how many games they played in relation to other teams, too. I'm sure most people remember how often -- to the point of ad nauseum -- we were reminded that the Blue Jackets' had key "games in hand" in comparison to other teams in the Western Conference. That was because while other teams were rattling off game after game, the Jackets had a five day layoff between a 5-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on October 9th, and a 5-0 manhandling at the hand of the Minnesota Wild on the 14th. Then they had a six day layoff until their 4-2 defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The three day layoff between this season's first Coyotes game and the recent game against the Colorado Avalanche, followed by a four day break before tonight's tilt against the Dallas Stars, seems to smack of a similar -- but of course not as long of a -- layoff issue as it pertains to the Jackets' schedule in October. Frankly, while I'm not about to go and say this is the reason the Jackets are in disarray (it'd be idiotic to use that as an excuse), it still bothers me.

But the show must go on, even if it's now been over half a week since the Jackets' last played. I'd generally been too busy enjoying my mid-term break to delve into the horrors that made up that 5-1 drubbing by the Avalanche on Saturday. Like I said in a previous post -- albeit in a haiku -- I was unable to watch the game. I wouldn't be doing the team any justice to talk about it all that much, beyond some very general comments. For example, the Jackets are no longer flawless on the penalty kill, allowing two goals to the Avalanche on the PK. Also, Pascal Leclaire also lost his shutout streak, but not before setting a new Blue Jackets' record for consecutive shutout minutes (that was only set last season by Fredrik Norrena, no less).

As for today's match-up, well, it looks like the injury bug is already starting to take its toll on the team. As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, Fredrik Modin will not be suiting up tonight as he nurses a sore/pulled groin. Modin, who has 2 assists in 4 games, has been one of the Blue Jackets more dependable guys on the ice, to say the least. Still, if he needs to rest, he needs to rest. It's still early in the season, and it's better that he's prepared for some of those longer stretches of games.

Other players who have been dealing with injuries are Rick Nash, who was also reported to be having some sore groin issues. However Nash is expected to still play tonight, which is a good sign. Meanwhile, Jared Boll -- who had been injured in last week's game against the Coyotes -- looks to be back in the lineup for tonight. He had been left behind in Columbus during the Jackets' trip to Colorado, where he nursed a sore shoulder.

Fredrik Norrena will get the start tonight. Considering the type of competitor that Freddy is, I'd expect him to play his ass off after seeing Leclaire play two games in a row, only to get brutally dispatched in the second game. This could be Norrena's opportunity to match Leclaire's strong play, after all.

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Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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