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[Open Thread] Game Forty-One Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at San Jose Sharks

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20-14-7
2nd in Central Division
9th in Western Conference
22-12-6
1st in Pacific Division
2nd in Western Conference

On what promises to be, if the current weather is any indication, a dark and stormy night Los Tiburones de San José will entertain the Columbus "Quit Calling Us Blue-Tailed Flies, We Dumped That Logo" Blue Jackets.  Whether or not those in attendance are entertained depends on whether the Sharks can break their five game home losing streak.  If not, it promises to be far darker and stormier inside the Tank than outside.

In this, their seventh year in the NHL, the Blue Jackets are for the first time in franchise history playing professional hockey.  This is in spite a slew of injuries to key players that at various times throughout the now halfway-over season (already?!!) has kept players like Michael Peca and Fredrik Modin on the shelf.  Fortunately for the Union soldiers, Pascal Leclaire has been consistently stellar in net, boasting a gaudy 1.94 GAA and doing a whole lot of bacon saving for a team that's been almost as offensively challenged as the Sharks.  Columbus has 103 tallies on the season, one goal ahead of San Jose who find themselves second to last in this category in the entire Western Conference.  Paging Mr. Cheechoo and Mr. Marleau to the other team's side of the ice for more than a courtesy call, please.

Think I'll wear my road jersey tonight and see if it fools the Sharks into thinking they're on the road.  Assuming the power doesn't go out, should be a good game.