Blue Jackets and Ducks tonight... should be a good one. The Ducks arms are probably still tired from flying back to London... and then to Detroit... and now to Columbus. It's a tough gig being the champs... and this is the perfect opportunity for the Jackets to get off on the right foot against a good team.
There's a fair bit of uncertainty as to how the Jackets' line-up will look as Fredrik Modin might be available to get going for the team, but it does look like Rick Nash (Wes) is finally ready to have a healthy season. Nash has the potential for 50 goals and in all likelihood, if he plays 82 games, he'll come really close, if not actually achieving the mark.
If Nikolai Zherdev (Box 8) has a better attitude and a better relationship with Head Coach Ken Hitchcock, he might find himself having some good opportunities for big points. Also leaning towards a breakout year, I have a keen eye looking towards Gilbert Brule (Box 9). Brule may have been rushed into the league a bit last season, but now that he has a season worth of experience in him, it's quite likely he'll vastly improve on his 19 points this season.
Fredrik Norrena (Clayton) will anchor the team and may find himself having a larger workload as well. Norrena played in 55 games last season and had 24 wins (including 3 shutouts), which left him just underneath a point per game.
|Rick Nash||Sergei Fedorov||David Vyborny|
|Jason Chimera||Dan Fritsche||Nikolai Zherdev|
|Jody Shelley||Manny Malhotra||Gilbert Brule|
|Alexandre Picard||Jiri Novotny||Jared Boll|
|Fredrik Modin||Mike Peca||Derek Dorsett|
|Rostislav Klesla||Ron Hainsey|
|Duvie Westcott||Ole-Kristian Tollefson|
|Jan Hejda||Kris Russell|
The Blue Jackets only actually have Peca and Dorsett on the Injured Reserve, while Foote and Modin remain on the active roster. Saying that, the active roster today is worth about $38.9 million against the cap, which is a good chunk of change and the team could very well be a bit more competitive... or at least provide some sort of competition to the stronger clubs in the Western Conference.
NHL, Hockey, Hockey Pool, Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash