The arrival of defenseman James Wisniewski to the Blue Jackets lineup, and all that he brings — the swagger, the Napoleon field gun shot, the quick, deft passes out of the defensive zone — were clearly a lift for a down-in-the-dumps club last night.

But the biggest boost of all might have come from a surprise visitor to the dressing room only minutes before the Blue Jackets were set to take the ice against the Detroit Red Wings.

Majority owner John P. McConnell stepped before the players with a message they described as brief, pointed and inspirational.

"He said he still believes in everything we're doing and he believes in every guy in the room," captain Rick Nash said.