COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 13: Interim Head Coach Todd Richards of the Columbus Blue Jackets watches his team on the ice during the game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Nationwide Arena on January 13, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets defeated the Coyotes 4-3. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to do something they have not done all season so far when they host the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Saturday: string together a second straight regulation win.
However, that will be no easy task, because the visiting Sharks have packed quite a bite lately, with just a single regulation loss in their last 12 games. San Jose's run has bumped them all the way up to third place in the Western Conference, while Columbus still occupies the NHL basement, with 29 points.
The good news is that Blue Jackets interim coach Todd Richards earned his first win as the Blue Jackets scored a 4-3 home win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday. Derick Brassard scored and assisted in that game, and the writers over at The Cannon are sounding more optimistic about the team's offense:
Beyond that, at times I really felt like they were a more cohesive offensive team. I remember several times saying things like, "Wow, that actually looked like they set that play up." I thought the passing was more crisp, and the offensive chances were better constructed. Whether that's Todd Richards' early stamp on the team, or just a mindset freed up by the change, I can't say.
Columbus has only won two games in a row once this season, when they beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 in overtime and then beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on November 19 and November 21 respectively. Tonight's game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. eastern.