I hope to never hear about the Blue Jackets captain ever again. Ever. Ever ever ever. And I don’t mean that I hope they name one so I don’t have to hear about it. I just mean it in a very general sense. I swear, it seems you can’t read a single thing anywhere about the Jackets without having the captaincy come up in the comments. I can only imagine what it is like on Twitter (I more or less quit Twitter for the reason of keeping my sanity intact). Fun fact: IT DOES NOT MATTER. Not one iota. It is probably the least relevant thing when it comes to a hockey team. I mean that literally. The actual talent of the players is more important. The amount of video watched by the players is more important. The specific systems of the team are more important. Every single decision every single player makes at any given time is more important. By that I mean that one decision, by one player, on one shift, is more important in the grand scheme than who has the C on their chest. Hell, the tape each player uses on their stick is more important. A microscopic nick on a skateblade. The amount of snow built up in the crease. ALL of those things are more important than who has the C.
The appearance of Jagr and Brodeur marked what started off horribly for the Jackets and the home crowd. But somehow this team found a way to gut out an ugly 5-4 win after going down 3-1 early and take two points from a team that is ahead of them currently in the Metro. It was season ticket holder “free food” night at Nationwide and thankfully the team gave people a reason to return to their seats versus just standing in long lines for tasty eats all night. So let’s get to it and look at the three stars per NHL.com.
We’re back at it – yesterday we had our update on Springfield and our European prospects and today we bring you part II – an update on our North American prospects in action – read on!
Oscar Dansk-Erie Otter (OHL)
Season Stats 19GP 13-3-1-0 2.24GAA .917Sv% 4SO
Oscar played in two of the Otters three games this week. Devin Williams started in the team’s opening win over Guelph before turning things over to Oscar in a back to back with Mississauga. In the first game against the Steelheads, Oscar had 26 saves in a 6-0 win – his second shutout against Mississauga. In his three shutouts the Otters have outscored their opponents 17-0. Oscar started again in the rematch on Saturday and stopped 18 of 19 in a 7-1 victory, allowing only one goal midway through the second period. Oscar was given a night off in the Otters game with Peterborough – a 6-2 victory – but was back at it for a 2-0 win over Ottawa. Oscar had 32 saves in his fourth shutout of the season. Dansk finished the weekend with a 7-2 victory making 29 saves for his 13th win of the season. During this stretch it was announced that Oscar will play for Sweden in the World Juniors. Oscar was on the Swedes roster for last year’s tournament serving mostly as the team’s third goalie and not seeing any playing time but you’d hope this season would help earn him some playing time. Continue reading November 25-December 8 CBJ Prospect Week in Review-PART II
In the past month or so there has been a proliferation of Blue Jackets “player fan groups” on Twitter. These groups are multiplying like proverbial rabbits right now and it’s hard to keep up. Here’s my best effort at a list (in alphabetical order):
- Atkinson’s Army
- Artem’s Amigos
- Bob’s Cop
- Boll’s Brigade
- Boone’s Goons
- Calvert’s Calvalry
- Dubinsky’s Devotees
- Foligno’s Flock
- Horton’s Horde
- Johnansen Junkies
- Marian’s Militia
- Murrays Minions
- Prout’s Patrol
- Rychel’s Raiders
- Tugger’s Nuts
- Tyutin’s Ticklers
What in the wide world of sports is going on here? It’s possible that most of these accounts are the product of one person with an OCD issue, but I don’t think so. If my research is accurate, Boone’s Goons was the first of these groups and they have the most followers. To be quite honest, this is a fun account. They have posted some very good Photoshop stuff. I haven’t had a chance to check out all the others yet, but they will have to bring it to keep up with the Goons. What exactly Tyutin’s Ticklers are going to bring to the party is anybody’s guess, but things could get real weird real quick. It turns out that it’s actually kind of fun to try to construct these player fan group names. I challenged myself to come up with five, spending no more than a minute on each one (which I am assuming is how you do it). Here goes:
- Ryan’s Privates
- Wiz’s Wise Asses
- Dubi’s Doobie Doos
- Cam’s Wam Bam Thank You Ma’ams
- Nathan’s Hot Dogs
(I’m kind of proud of that last one.) As fun as that was, I don’t know if I like all of these fan groups. (Maybe you already picked up on that.) I’m more of a “united we stand, divided we fall” guy. And frankly, I don’t need any more amigos on Twitter. Or maybe I’m just in a piss poor mood (like I usually am the morning after a loss.) What do you think of all these fan groups? Do you want to take the Five Name Challenge? Weigh in by leaving a comment.
The CBJ rolled into Pittsburgh hoping to come away from the Metropolitan Division’s first place team with 2 points. For the first 40 minutes and much of the final 20 they dictated the pace of play and did nearly everything right, short of burying the puck early. McElhinney had a good evening in net. He gambled and lost with an aggressive poke check on a Malkin who absolutely smoked Tyutin entering the zone and was the victim of some flukey bounces off of Nick Foligno and Sidney Crosby’s equipment for the second and ultimately game-winning goal. Without further ado, here are the 3 stars per NHL.com.
Continue reading Stars of the Night & Game in One Picture: CBJ vs. Penguins
Due to a road trip to Springfield and a busy week I’ll be recapping the past two weeks all together. For your reading pleasure, we’ve decided to break this into two halves – the first will be today – including our affiliate teams and European prospects and the North American update will run tomorrow. Let’s get to it!
Starting off on Friday night against Manchester, the Springfield Falcons rolled to a 3-1 lead but ultimately fell 4-3 in overtime breaking their six game win streak. The Monarchs took a 1-0 lead 9:05 into the first until late in the period Cody Bass sent a pass to a streaking Ryan Craig who scored before running into the Monarchs goalie. 25 seconds later, the Falcons would strike again when Frederic St Denis fired a shot that Jean Francois Berube would stop but the rebound would come out with Jonathan Marchessault (with some help from Tim Miller sitting on Berube) making it 2-1. Early in the second, the Falcons converted on a power play when Darryl Boyce and Sean Collins created havoc in front with a Monarchs player hand passing the puck to Boyce who passed the puck to Cody Goloubef who fired a blast to make it 3-1. After that it’d be all Monarchs. They scored three straight, including the tying goal, with just over five minutes left. The game winning goal came 1:19 into overtime. Jeremy Smith made 26 saves in the loss. Continue reading November 25-December 8 CBJ Prospect Week in Review-PART I
Well that was a hockey game. A complete 60 minute effort from the Jackets roster made for a an exciting and rewarding game for everyone who took it in. And HUZZAH! The yo-yo W-L-W-L pattern was broken in spectacular fashion with a shut out for McElhinney. While the crowd was sparse, those who braved the winter storm certainly found the effort to get downtown worth the while. There’s some lingering worry about Wisniewski and Calvert who both left the bench before the game is over, but let’s take tonight at least to celebrate the work of a team that didn’t stop. And we get to run our first official Game in One Picture! Read on!
3rd Star: Curtis McElhinney
You can’t underestimate the importance of a strong showing from McElhinney is his first outing as the go-to ‘tender with Bob on IR. Curtis delivered in spectacular fashion! While he certainly plays farther out of the net than Bob-ites may be used to seeing, he stopped all 20 shots he saw – including 4 from power plays – and inspired some strong play in front of him from the defense. To be honest, it was surprising that the goalie didn’t walk away with first star honors considering what was on the line.
2nd Star: RJ Umberger
Tonight marked RJ’s 400th game as a Blue Jacket and he clearly wanted to mark that moment in more than one way. He did what he’s supposed to do with some physical play – taking two penalties – and then notching a goal and an assist. The goal was mainly due to a beauty of a pass from Foligno but the genuine joy on RJ’s face after the puck went in made you genuinely happy for the guy. A big contributor tonight – worthly of notice.
1st Star: Nick Foligno
Remember last year when the Foligno trade was the one forgotten in the wake of the Nash blockbuster? Well #71 is certainly showing himself to be worth getting. He played a worthy 18 minutes and went 1-1-2. The assist to Umberger was amazing and perhaps would be garnering even more buzz if we all still weren’t basking in the glow of his highlight real goal versus Tampa Bay earlier this week. Foligno seems to be a key driver of this team both on and off the ice and his name is entering the conversation for future captain. I’m still scratching my head a bit as to why McElhinney isn’t number one, but if Foligno is going to take it away, that’s ok.
Game in One Picture
Stud: Boone Jenner
Remember when we were debating if Boone should spend a year in Springfield? Yeah me neither. This guy was buzzing all night – putting in the work. He was finally rewarded with a 3rd period goal, after 13 games without one, and this is a guy who certainly speaks to the identity the Jackets are trying to build and shows he can be a key part of the future of this team.
Dud: Mother Nature
We know the team is struggling, and we know that the only thing that consistently puts butts in seats, but after a low turnout Tuesday, did ya really have to pummel us with “snowmageddon 2013″ to even some of the most ardent fans at home? Ah well – the fans who did show up got to see something great…let’s just hope there’s manageable weather for all home games in the foreseeable future.
Blue Jackets 2013 first round pick Kerby Rychel was traded from the Windsor Spitfires to the Guelph Storm.
The original deal as reported on Monday was Kerby and fellow NHL first round pick Slater Koekkoek to the Storm for forward Brody Milne and draft picks but the trade would be squashed…for about a day. The actual deal was finally made official Tuesday before the Blue Jackets game started.
The final deal went down like this. The Storm received Kerby and defenseman Nick Ebert for Milne and at least eight picks but it could be nine if Ebert returns for his overage season. The picks involved are as follows: Guelph’s second round picks in the 2014, 15, 16, 17, 18 OHL Drafts, a third in 2016, a fourth in 2014 and 2015 and a conditional 15th round pick in 2017 (if Ebert returns). Kerby sent out this tweet to the fans in Windsor after the trade and Kerby and Nick made this video after the trade. But who was hit hardest by the news? That would be Tempelton Rychel.
When news broke yesterday that Uncle Bob will be out four to five weeks with a groin injury, many Blue Jackets fans experienced sympathy pains in their groins. Some will see this as the death knell for the Blue Jackets’ chances of making the playoffs. Not me. I’m going glass half-full, or maybe more like 1/3 full.
Yes, losing Bob will cause a significant increase in month-to-month sales of over-the-counter acid reducers in the Central Ohio market. But before panic sets in, let’s acknowledge that when Realignment finally came to town, it might as well have come dressed like Santa Claus riding Gary Bettman like a reindeer. The Blue Jackets got an early holiday gift this year when they punched their ticket to to the Eastern Conference. Now that they have settled into their first season, they find themselves in the middle of what looks to be one nasty pillow fight.
Great moments are born from great opportunity. And opportunity, Blue Jackets fans, is called the Metropolitan Division.
So I haven’t posted a goal breakdown yet this season. Bad job by me. Sorry about that team. Anyway, what better goal to start it off with than Nick Foligno’s beauty on Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning. First things first though, some context for the goal: we’re almost five minutes into the second period in a game locked at zeroes. Both goalies are playing well, with Sergei Bobrovsky looking like last season’s Bob, and Ben Bishop looking like he’s looked all year. For those not following along with the Lightning, Bishop is in the top five or so in pretty much every relevant goaltending statistic. With all that happening, this game looked like it could be a ‘first goal wins’ kind of game, which is exactly how it played out. For those who have somehow missed it or just want to watch it again, here is video of the goal: Continue reading Goal Breakdown: Geometry Lessons