The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that goaltender Steve Mason left the morning skate this morning with a respiratory issue that might keep him out of tonight’s all-important contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins:
Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason made a bee line out of Nationwide Arena before the morning skate. He has a cold that is affecting his respiratory tract and is considered questionable for tonight’s game vs. Pittsburgh. If he’s not feeling better — or any worse this afternoon — Mason will start. But don’t be surprised if Wade Dubielewicz gets the nod in net tonight against the Penguins. It would be Dubielewicz’s second start this season vs. Pittsburgh.
Also of note, it appears Michael Peca will in fact play tonight, though he will take Chris Gratton’s spot on the #4 line instead of Jiri Novotny’s spot on the #3 line. Novotny will play tonight.
UPDATE (5:30): Looks like Mason WILL go tonight for the Jackets:
Blue Jackets rookie goaltender Steve Mason will play tonight vs. Pittsburgh, The Dispatch has learned.
Mason did not take part in the morning skate, heading straight home after a morning gathering because of a cold. The club insists that it wasn’t a flare-up of the mononucleosis that dogged Mason earlier in the season.
This development, according to coach Ken HItchcock’s statements at the morning skate, indicates that Wade Dubielewicz will start on Friday in Chicago.