Is it plagiarism if you’re copying your own words? I’ll repeat it: can you imagine if this team could start? That first 20 minutes was rough to watch. Hartnell took the most Hartnell-ist of all penalties to give the Ducks their first of what would be many power play opportunities against the Jackets and Kesler and crew were able to capitalize. Like the rest of the team, Bob looked shaky to start and it wasn’t until after Cogliano’s 2nd goal that Bob really “locked it in” to steal a phrase from Bob McElligot’s post-game analysis. From the 2nd period forward, Bob was like a cat watching a laser pointer, never losing sight of the puck and had a an intensity that Blue Jackets fans have become accustomed to seeing when he’s truly at the top of his game. As much as it pains to me to acknowledge that there’s a role for fighting still in the NHL, it’s undeniable that Boll’s scrap with Clayton Stoner was a huge momentum swing and changed the entire complexion of the game. Instead of giving credit where it’s due, I’ll simply say that a better team wouldn’t have needed a fight to display the same tempo and tenacity we saw after that bout. Regardless, from there on, those in attendance and at home were treated to a physical, high scoring hockey game with some of everything. Let’s dig in to the stars: Continue reading…
Greetings all! Time again for the week in review. It was the last week of competition in the CHL’s regular season and a lot of team awards and playoff standings were handed out and announced.
We’ll start off in the AHL first, though. First up for the Springfield Falcons, on Wednesday it was announced that 2012 third round pick Joonas Korpisalo would be joining the Falcons as his season with Ilves having just completed (seems quicker than when they brought Anton Forsberg last season). With that, it was time for another round of Oscar Dansk in the ECHL in Kalamazoo but more on that later.
First up on Friday, the Falcons welcomed the worst team in the East, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Falcons continued what has seemed like a trend lately by allowing the first goal before TJ Tynan scored his ninth of the season off his own rebound to make it 1-1. The Falcons allowed two third period goals and fell by a score of 3-1, Scott Munroe had 26 saves in the loss.
Sergei Borovsky made 38 saves, and Rene Bourque scored twice against his former team to help the Blue Jackets take down the Flames 3-2 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. The Jackets were thoroughly outplayed for most of the game, getting outshot 40-26, and outshot-attempted 73-52. The Jackets welcomed Boone Jenner and Jeremy Morin back to the lineup from injury, although both were a little rusty and fairly quiet. Bobrovsky kept the game close until Artem Anisimov put together a fantastic effort to force a turnover by ex-Jacket Kris Russell, pick up the puck, and score a spinning, backhand goal to send the game to overtime. Bourque put the game away with his second goal of the game as the Jackets extended their winning streak to three games.
3rd Star: Sergei Bobrovsky
Really, what more can you say about Bobrovsky on the game-by-game level. His only negative in the macro is injuries. When healthy, he gives the Jackets a chance to win every game, whether they deserve it or not. Bob was the only reason they were still in this game after the second period. He was outstanding, is pretty much always outstanding, and is totally worth his contract extension. Look, you can find goalies, and Bob is the example of it. But the reason you can find goalies is the difficulty in evaluating them. That also makes it difficult to find a goalie who gives you a legitimate chance to win. Bob isn’t Steve Mason, who basically had a hot fifteen games his rookie year, followed by league average player (and worse after his rookie year). When you find a guy who will keep you in the game (basically) every time he players, and that guy is young enough to do this for the next half-decade, you lock him down. Think the Rangers have any regrets about keeping Henrik Lunqvist at a big cap figure? He was a 6th round pick, and the same kind of find that Bob was for the Jackets. The Rangers have been in contention for at least the playoffs every year he’s been healthy. Bob provides the same thing for the Jackets.
That game went down just as we all thought, right? After a commanding performance by Vancouver for the first period, a Vancouver friend of mine kindly pointed out “the Canucks are on pace for 90 shots!” or “the Canucks are on pace for 60 plus shots!”
What a difference an intermission makes.
The Jackets rallied back after two bang-bang Vancouver goals and scored six unanswered to win the game and leave Canucks fans sounding – well – familiar: “how can we not beat teams we’re supposed to beat?” (Some fans also were yelling “Shoot it!” throughout the game but that’s a story for another day).
Anyway – let’s take a look at the three stars as named by NHL.com:
Hello all – sorry or the delay but I’m back again for the usual week in review!
Starting off it was a rough week in Springfield as the Falcons went 1-2 and scored one goal…Im not kidding. First up against Hartford, the Falcons allowed the Pack to take a 1-0 lead late in the first before TJ Tynan scored his eighth goal of the season on a rebound to tie it. The game went to overtime and to the three on three portion of the overtime with Conor Allen winning it. Scott Munroe made 30 saves in the loss.
Let’s keep the next game brief – the Falcons lost 5-0 to Providence and Oscar Dansk made 29 saves. Next up was a game against Albany and it was a goalie duel going all the way to a shootout with no score before TJ Tynan and Sean Collins notched goals in the skills competition while Scott Munroe had 35 saves and stopped both Devil shooters.
The Falcons are hanging onto a playoff spot – they’re only a point behind sixth and seventh place and are up three on ninth place Worchester, but some help for the Falcons could be on the way. More on that later in this recap.
The Blue Jackets took down the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout in the wee hours of the morning. Well maybe not the wee hours. I might just be getting old. Also, I’ve used “wee” in three consecutive sentences now. Clearly I am tired and punchy. Anyway, the Jackets and Oilers at least put on an entertaining show, combining for 67 shots (47-20 in favor of Edmonton), a few highlight reel goals in regulation, and nice shootout markers from Ryan Johansen and Alexander Wennberg to finish it off.
3rd Star: Ryan Nugent Hopkins
Sure. Scored his 20th of the season, marking the first time he’s done that. Good on the kid. He still looks like a stick in skates out there though.
Well that was an interesting game. By and large I was happy with the Blue Jackets play, even if they trailed in the shots department all evening. They were generating good scoring chances and most of the guys seemed to be skating well but it just wasn’t meant to be tonight. The officiating could best be described as interesting tonight. We saw everything from phantom calls to no-calls to makeup calls. While there are a lot of things the CBJ could point to for why they came up empty-handed tonight, being on the PK 6 times in an evening probably didn’t help. Let’s see who the three stars were: Continue reading…
Going in to Friday’s game, Edmonton had 47 points, good enough for second worst in the league. Columbus had 62 and is 13th in the East. The two teams took 65 minutes plus to settle things but when the dust settled, the Jackets came out on top off a shootout goal from Alexander Wennberg…a goal that will never show in his official stats, but will be remembered as a first NHL game winning goal. When the three stars came out per NHL.com, they honored that line, that beautiful line of Hartnell-Wennberg-Dano that has been a revelation…
Hello all! As usual, when The Hockey News’ Future Watch Issue hits my mailbox that means it’s time for my annual update on the Jackets prospect pool. After rising from 24th in 2012 to 2nd last year, the CBJ took a small dip dropping to 6th. First up here’s the Blue Jackets top 10 prospects
- Sonny Milano
- Kerby Rychel
- Oliver Bjorkstrand
- Anton Forsberg
- Josh Anderson
- Marko Dano
- Mike Reilly
- Joonas Korpisalo
- Dillon Heatherington
- Ryan Collins
Like last year, I only have a few minor issues with the list. I’d have Marko Dano and Mike Reilly ahead of Josh Anderson, and as most of you know, I’ve been in the Josh Anderson fan club since draft day 2012. The Future Watch issue had this to say about Marko:
OK reader, I’ll level with you. During first intermission I was already writing the intro to this write-up as starting with something along the line of “well the good news is our lottery chances just improved.” Can you imagine what this season would be like if this team could start games effectively? 36 seconds in, it looked like we were in for another one of those games where we just wanted to get out of the opposing team’s barn without any injuries but newcomer Rene Bourque notched his first goal in the union blue sweater (well, mostly white tonight) and then Mister Never-Say-Die Hartnell was able to bury the 2nd and 3rd goal to send it to overtime. The recently stalled CBJ power play found its legs tonight with all three goals in regulation coming with the man advantage. Let’s see who the stars of the night were. Continue reading…