Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ vs. WSH

Posted by The Coach on December 19, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Stars of the Night / No Comments

So I was planning on being positive tonight. My last few recaps have been super negative. I also seem to get saddled with the CBJ’s worst games. So the first period happens. Probably their worst period of the season. I come to the conclusion the team has the Union Blue recap schedule posted in the dressing room and choose to crap the bed when I have to write about it. I’m not going to say anything more about the first period other than it sucked and Sergei Bobrovsky kept them in it. Then the second period happened, and it was fantastic. One of the better periods of hockey the Jackets have played all season. They dominated the play, but they did it in the physical, “Blue Jackets hockey” way that we had all come to know and love. The third period wasn’t a dominant performance by any means, but it was damn entertaining. The Capitals outshot the Jackets in the third, but that felt more like a team down for a good chunk of the period pressing to tie it up. Which the Caps managed to do twice. Unfortunately, the Jackets couldn’t pull out the overtime victory, falling 5-4 and bringing the wining streak to an end. The Jackets now sit at 7-0-1 in the month of December. That is pretty good. Less good is the Jackets now sitting in no-man’s land in the standings. They are seven points back of the Caps and the Florida Panthers for the final playoff spots. They were 10 points back at the end of November. It’s just that hard to make up points in the standings, especially when giving out points to the opposition in overtime or the shootout. The Jackets have also pulled too far ahead of the bottom feeding Edmonton Oilers. So screw it. Let’s keep this thing going. Who cares if the Jackets only have a 1.6% chance of making the playoffs (per SportsClubStats). This team to too good to tank without sitting Bob (who is in a contract year), and a handful of other players. The odds may be stacked against making the playoffs, but they are equally stacked against ending up with McDavid or Eichel. So I’ve flipped back again, and am now pulling for the historic comeback.

Third Star: Karl Alzner

Any time a defensive defenseman has a multi-point night in a victory, he’s probably gettting a star. Even if his goal was Charmin soft (Bob really should have had that one). Alzner was fine, never really standing out in his 18:09 of ice time. Which I guess is good considering his role (think a less monstrous Dalton Prout).
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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ DET

Posted by Brett Ireland on December 17, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The Blue Jackets were certifiably on fire heading in to Detroit last night, winning 6 straight and looking like they could somehow, magically, be getting their season turned around. After a grueling 65 minutes of hockey the Blue Jackets willed their way to a seventh straight win against a team we love to hate and more importantly: in a barn they’ve struggled in. Compared to the fire-wagon nature of the Pittsburgh game, this defense-heavy tilt was a fresh kind of suspense that we hadn’t seen the CBJ do well at this season.

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December 8-14 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on December 16, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Time for another week in the world of Blue Jackets prospects! It was a light week with the International break happening along with college hockey taking its Christmas break (Minnesota is done until next year) so let’s begin where we always do – Springfield – where the baby birds are still playing.

Starting off on Wednesday, The Falcons pulled off a pair of things they hadn’t done in a long time. First the team lost for the first time in 11 games and they were also shutout for the first time since October 24th. In the 2-0 loss, Anton Forsberg stopped 23 of 24 with ex-Jacket Mike Blunden adding an empty net goal.

After that, it was time for the longest bus trip of the season according to play by play guy Andy Zilch when the team headed to Norfolk, Virginia. On Friday night, with Ilya Bryzgalov in net for the Admirals, Marko Dano opened the scoring when he picked up a rebound off an Austin Madaisky point shot. Bryz got a piece of it with his stick but the puck ended up in the net. In the second with the game tied at one, Dano struck again scoring just seconds into a power play. The goal came off a scramble with Dano gathering the loose puck to make it 2-1. Sean Collins scored an empty net goal for his 10th of the year. Forsberg had 26 saves including one on a late game penalty shot.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: PIT @ CBJ

Posted by AlisonL on December 14, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

Well that was a game, wasn’t it? It had a little bit of everything and by everything I mean every possible way to score happened: short-handed goal, power play goal, penalty shot, shootout, regulation goal…and then you add in one almost line brawl and a quite a few scuffles, 55 hits between two teams and a first period that pretty much had your head spinning and you have one enjoyable night of hockey (did I mention the Jackets now have 6 wins in a row?). The Jackets were able to hammer out a win against the team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs and ensured that this season’s record against PIT will include at least one regular season win. BUT for the third time in a row, the Jackets beat a conference opponent WHILE giving them a point. That certainly makes a climb to a playoff spot that much more difficult and the push and pull between what this team can do and what if they get a top pick in the draft continues. Ah the drama. Let’s look at the three stars from last night’s game as named by NHL.com:

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ WSH

Posted by The Coach on December 11, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / 1 Comment

So that makes five straight wins for the Blue Jackets. I’d love to be excited about that, but once again the Jackets were grossly outplayed by the opposition, only to see Sergei Bobrovsky stand on his head again. I wish I could be positive about this team, but it’s just so hard. They looked like they were shorthanded for most of the game, and while they were a man or two down for much of it, they could easily have spent more time on the penalty kill. There were a few calls they got away with late in the game that could have swung the game back in the Capitals favor. I don’t know what more to say about this team right now. They aren’t playing well. They really truly aren’t. The Capitals were the much better team in my eyes tonight, their best players were more dominant, with the obvious exception of Bobrovsky. Making things even murkier, the Jackets again give up a loser point to a team they are chasing in the standings (making it three of the five wins). Considering the massive amount of ground they have to pick up, they need to start beating teams ahead of them in regulation. Otherwise they are headed towards the 12th overall pick while never really sniffing the playoffs.

3rd Star: John Carlson

The star pickers in Washington are very different than most other teams it appears. Carlson is a very good all around defenseman, who played a very solid 25:07 for the Caps tonight, logging serious minutes on both the PP and the PK. But with only one shot on net, and a single assist, he didn’t have the kind of numbers you would expect. This is especially true considering the dominance of the Capitals in this game, and the nine shots fired on goal by Alexander Ovechkin.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: PHL @ CBJ

Posted by AlisonL on December 09, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Game Discussion / No Comments

Oh hey there, CBJ! Four wins in a row, undefeated in December and a rallying first team goal for a waiver pickup that just turns out to be a game winner (nice work Kevin Connauton). The team still isn’t where they want  – or need – to be, and unfortunately this win came at the cost of giving an in-division opponent a point as well (preventing what Jackets faithful would at least be a tie in the standings after tonight). But here we are, winning feels better than losing and a nice little rivalry continues to brew. Let’s take a look at the three stars as decided by NHL.com:

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December 1-7 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on December 08, 2014
Prospects / No Comments

Greetings, Jackets fans – it’s another week in the world of Jackets prospects. We’re closing in on the CHL’s holiday break and the World Juniors are coming quickly. Let’s start with an award. It was announced on Monday that Anton Forsberg was named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for November. After being sent back from Columbus, Anton went 8-0-0 with a 1.76 GAA and a .936 save percentage.

On to the Falcons’ games. Starting off on Friday night against Norfolk, early in the first Marko Dano scored his third of the season off a scramble in front. Seven minutes later with the Falcons on the power play, Austin Madaisky’s slap shot was stopped and TJ Tynan picked up the rebound to find Ryan Craig in front. He scored with the entire side of the net open. A minute twenty later, the Admirals scored to the period 2-1. Trent Vogelhuber scored the game winner very early in the second period  (for some reason they didn’t think it deserved to be in the highlights). In the 3-2  victory, Forsberg made 27 saves. The win also set a new franchise record as it was the Falcons 10th in a row. Here are head coach Jared Bednar’s and Anton Forsberg’s postgame comments.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ TPA

Posted by DerDrache on December 07, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

I’m at a bit of a loss to comment on tonight’s game. The Jackets were a mere 73 seconds away from a shutout after weathering an early storm and clamping down to allow lower quality shots and Bobrovsky standing on his head for the 2nd half of the game. The CBJ played a physical game while being able to maintain their discipline and limit penalties, both we’ll put in the “good” column in any away game. The “bad” column is a familiar story: getting outshot 34-20 by a dynamic, young team that is captained by one of the league’s elite scorers in Stamkos. While I’m always grateful for a Jackets win, the kind of play we’ve seen on this road trip simply won’t lead to sustained wins. On to tonight’s stars as seen on NHL.com: Continue reading…

Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ FLA

Posted by The Coach on December 05, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / 1 Comment

Worst. Game. Ever.  I will get to this in the Stud/Dud section a little more, but I really hated this game. A 4-3 shootout win, after blowing a 3-0 lead. Ugly to watch in every way, the Jackets were outshot by about a million, outshot attempted by about a billion, and just generally outplayed by about a trillion. Actually, just 55 to 20 in shots, and 99 to 35 in shot attempts (I stand by my outplayed by a trillion statement). Yet they somehow came out of the game with two points. Two points that probably do more harm than good, with the Jackets needing to play at “Best team in Hockey” pace to even sniff the playoffs.

Third Star: Sergei Bobrovsky

Bob was the sole reason the Jackets were in this game. He deserved a better effort from the team in front of him. On the bright side, he managed to notch a spot in the Jackets record books with a franchise record 52 save performance. He was the first star of this game, I don’t care what anyone else says.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: FLA @ CBJ

Posted by AlisonL on December 02, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Game Discussion / No Comments

Well hey, that was fun! The Jackets broke the recent losing skid by beating the return of Derek MacKenzie’s team Florida Panthers 2-1. After the game last night, some were saying that the game wasn’t “exciting” or “good hockey” but I, for one, was very encouraged to see some spirited play from the team and a rather consistent effort, even if it didn’t always show statistically. As they say, points are points no matter how you get them. The two newest players back in the room, Kerby Rychel and Michael Chaput, showed up and did exactly what called up players are supposed to do – give the team a jump and help propel the team to a win. Possession wise, it was a weird game. At even strength the Panthers had the Corsi advantage of 57% for the game, but the Jackets won the final frame, at 53.85% Corsi for which was enough to keep the Panthers from sneaking in a tying (or heaven forbid) game winning goal. (An interesting note, is that the Jackets HANDILY won the first period Fenwick battle at 62.50% – 20 blocked shots for the CBJ on the night) Let’s take a look at the three stars as named by NHL.com.

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