Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 53 — Blue Jackets vs. Senators
4:00 PM: Today's Gameday Goodie talks about his rare career feat with 100 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes as well as his efforts to try and create energy for teammates.
3:45 PM: Marc Methot offers his thoughts on tonight's game ahead of his second return to Columbus.
3:15 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Blue Jackets.
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Spezza - Michalek
Condra - Zibanejad - Conacher
Smith - Da Costa - Neil
Cowen - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Methot - Gryba
Columbus Blue Jackets
Foligno - Johansen - Umberger
Jenner - Anisimov - Horton
Calvert - Dubinsky - Atkinson
MacKenzie - Letestu - Tropp
Johnson - Tyutin
Murray - Wisniewski
Nikitin - Goloubef
2:30 PM: Cody Ceci was informed that he's in Ottawa to stay for the rest of the season. Here's what he had to say about the news...
On being told he's not going back to Binghamton:
I enjoyed my time there but it was nice to get the call up and I've just enjoyed it here. It's a lot different here with flying to games and staying in nice hotels and eating in nice restaurants all the time. I've enjoyed my time here, it's a little different but I had some fun when I was down in Bingo and lived with some great guys.
On finding a place in Ottawa:
Orleans (where his parents live) is a little far from the rink. With traffic every morning it would be kind of a pain so I'm looking in the Kanata area for something for now and I think my sister and her boyfriend would move in and help me with the costs for now so that would be nice. They'd take care of the house so I wouldn't be all alone just yet... I'm sure she (his mom) will visit a lot with me and my sister there so it'll be back-and-forth. It's not too far and I'll go home every once and a while. It's just easier for me to get a place out there because I train out there in the summer and it'll just work out better for me.
On when he got the news:
I got the news just before the Nashville trip so I guess a couple of weeks ago and it has been nice. I've just been scrambling in Ottawa trying to find a place to live. They kicked me out of the hotel so I was without a place for a while and I was just trying to sleep wherever I could and somewhere close to the rink with friends and family. They all helped me out and I'm there for a little longer. I'm there for a little longer, I'm just trying to find something as quick as possible.
On tonight's game vs. a new opponent:
There's still a ton of teams I haven't played yet and a lot of cities I haven't played in. I try and treat them all as road games but the rinks are different and the crowds are different. It's a new experience and I've just got to try and come out and play my game as well as I can no matter where I am.
On leaning on veterans:
They just kind of tell me what their tendencies are and I try to keep an eye on them and know where they are on the ice because they're all great players in the league. There are a few that are exception and you've got to keep an eye out for those guys.
1:20 PM: Here's what Paul MacLean had to say after today's morning skate in Columbus.
On the lineup:
On Phillips' injury:
We're going to manage it to make sure. He misses tonight and we're hopeful that's the only one but we have to monitor it. We're going to see how it is tomorrow and go by that. At this point I would say it is (minor) unless it develops into something more, which we don't anticipate it will but we'll see how he is tomorrow.
On Phillips' play:
I think he has been fine, he has been veteran D, he has been a lot of the reason why a young player like Cody Ceci can come up and have the success that he has is he gets to play with a guy like Chris Phillips. I think that's one thing Chris has done for us this year really well has been to be able to bring along a young player like Cody.
On tonight's game:
I think we need to play better in the neutral zone, I think we have been a little bit cavalier with the puck and without it we've been a little hesitant or slow to get to the right places. We need to do a much better job in the neutral zone to control the tempo of the game tonight.
On Columbus' speed:
I think Carolina played with a lot of pace as well and Tampa Bay played with a lot of pace. We like to play fast too. I think the Rangers were a fast team, too. I thought they were a touch faster than we were and I think when we play well we play fast. The big thing for us is to be able to play at the speed we want to is not to be turning over pucks, making sure pucks get to the right spots and we don't have to stop skating on them. I think every team in the league right now wants to play the same way.
Eric has been very steady, he has been making a good first pass and he has been physical which is the expectation we have for him as a player and I think he has done a good job of taking care of his own zone and just making simple plays.
10:00 AM: The Ottawa Senators will look to get back in the win column tonight in Columbus when they take on the red hot Blue Jackets.
The Senators came out on the wrong end of a 6-3 decision in Carolina this past weekend as they were edged by the Hurricanes in a mid-day game. A pair of goals from Kyle Turris and a single marker from Mika Zibanejad brought the Sens back from tough deficits but they ultimately couldn't reel in the Canes.
The Blue Jackets are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now with a record of 8-2-0 in their last 10 which has catapulted them back into the playoff race. For the season they have amassed a record of 26-22-4 for 56 points in 52 games, but fell last night in action by a 3-2 score to the Hurricanes.
In their two meetings this season each team has won a game in regulation.
The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate at 11:30 AM at Nationwide Arena and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts on tonight's game, Sens TV updates, Instagram goodness and more.
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