During Wednesday night's Montreal broadcast we all received a little idea of what we can expect tonight against the Blue Jackets: Bob Errey is going to say "The Monster Nash" at least once, likely 20 times. Given the timeliness of this name, we can at least breathe easy knowing it only has a lifespan of less than 30 hrs. Then it's just irrelevant for another 362ish days.
But let's get down to the heart of the matter here; the Columbus Blue Jackets. What can we say about them this early in the season as they sit 6-5 in the Western Conference's Central Division? Well for starters, Rick Nash is a beast. His six goals and nine assists for 15 points over 11 games puts him right up there with Sid's 14 total points. Help from legendary "Penguin killer" R.J. Umberger only helps, although his 2 goals and 4 assists can easily be overlooked. For the record, Umberger was kept off the scoresheet last season in the Pens' 4-1 win over Columbus back in February.
Former Penguin Mathieu Garon is the backup goaltender in Columbus, but it's likely we'll see last season's Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason between the pipes. Mason is 5-4 this season and currently riding out a two game skid. Hopefully the Pens make it three tonight.
Other names around the Jackets you want to keep an eye on: Antoine Vermette (3g, 7a), Kristian Huselius (5g, 4a) and Jakub Voracek (4g, 4a).
As you know tonight starts the Penguins' two to three week run without Evgeni Malkin, as he joins Sergei Gonchar and (likely) Tyler Kennedy on the list of injured Pens. Let's see if Pittsburgh can get out of this one with a W. Staying healthy in the process can only help.
Puck and thread drop at 7pm.