Archive for November 2012

November 19-25 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

We’re back again after the holiday weekend with the latest on CBJ prospects, and as I suspect many of you know, not all of it is good news this week. The biggest piece of bad news is the loss of Ryan Murray, probably for the season. Murray will undergo surgery on his shoulder that will require him to miss the World Junior Championships, and likely the rest of the season.

It was a rough weekend in Springfield as the Falcons would go 0-2-1 last week losing both of their non-overtime games by only a goal. Starting off against Portland, the Birds finished off a four game road trip losing 6-5. The final tally came after the Falcons led 4-1 early in the second period before allowing four straight. John Moore and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault would open the scoring giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission. After allowing a Pirates goal just 28 seconds into the second, David Savard and Cam Atkinson would score to make it 4-1 before it was all Pirates. Sean Collins would score his second of the season late in the second to make it 5-5. Oliver Ekman-Larsson would then score just 19 seconds into overtime to win it. Curtis McEllhinney would start the game stopping 18 of 23 before giving things over to Paul Dainton who would stop 13 of 14 and take the loss. Continue reading November 19-25 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

How the Cancellation of the All-Star Weekend Took So Much More Than a Game

The ASG Logo Being Removed from Nationwide. Photo Courtesy Jim Heath

When news came down this past Friday that the long predicted cancellation of the 2013 All Star Game was a reality, I found myself feeling numb. I share the ‘fan perspective’ (no lawyerly knowledge here) on Union Blue and while we here have tried to steer clear of opining on the lockout, game cancellations and speculation on the ASG, it’s now my duty to reflect on the first part of this mess that has truly become a reality and hits not only the Blue Jackets, but Columbus directly.

One of my fellow contributors gave me a gentle nudge today…”you’re writing about the All-Star Game, right?” Yeah. I guess I will. But what more can I say that hasn’t already been said? I mean, we all know the facts by now: no All-Star Game in 2013 for Columbus and the only assurance we have of getting one in the future is that the league is going to work to bring the game back to Columbus “as quickly as possible”. Not too reassuring, eh? Lori Schmidt did clarify that we shouldn’t read too much into the exact wording but still, for the beleaguered Jackets fan, this is one more event that leaves us feeling slighted.

Continue reading How the Cancellation of the All-Star Weekend Took So Much More Than a Game

Nov 12-18 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Fresh from my BlueJackets.com debut it’s time for the week in review with a just a dash of bad news (sorry folks – can’t all be puppies and rainbows).

Starting off, the Falcons finally had to hit the road after being homebodies for most of the start to the season. Starting with a Wednesday game against the Baby Pens in Scranton, I mean Wilkes-Barre (what’s the difference?) the Falcons would lose 2-1 because of goalie (and Miami alum) Jeff Zatkoff and two goals by Beau Bennett. Bennett would snap Curtis McEllhinney‘s shutout streak at 169:06. Tomas Kubalik would score the Falcons only goal off a deflection, McElhinney would make 30 saves in the loss. The Falcons would move south to Norfolk for a back to back with the Admirals. In Friday’s 3-2 win, Cam Atkinson would score two in the win and Sean Collins also tally his first of the season. Collins would tie the game at one when he’d score on a shot from the right circle. Atkinson’s two goals would both be on special teams – first scoring on the power play when Nick Drazenovic would send a pass that Atkinson simply had to tap in. Atkinson’s second goal would be vintage Atkinson scoring on a shorthanded breakaway after intercepting a pass and snapping it over Frederick Andersen’s glove. Curtis McElhinney would make 36 saves in the win, his ninth of the season. In the rematch on Saturday, the Jacket’s top D prospects would put on a show scoring four of the team’s five goals. But it’d be “the Cooler” (I don’t think that’s his nickname but I needed to make a Roadhouse joke) as the two Daltons on the team would combine for Dalton Smith‘s second of the season, and first since opening night, when he’d score on a backhand past Igor Bobkov. John Moore would score his second of the season when he pinched in and fired a wrist shot past Bobkov. Tim Erixon would be the trailer on a three on two after taking a pass from Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and would fire a wrist shot over Bobkov’s glove for his fourth of the season. Nick Holden and David Savard would score their firsts of the season: Holden’s would be off a nasty wrist shot from the right circle just over Bobkov’s shoulder. Paul Dainton would get his second start of the season making 33 saves in the 5-2 win. Continue reading Nov 12-18 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

No Words

Warning: You are about to see the word “words” a lot. By a lot I mean A LOT. Like 34,543 times.

For the last couple of years, the commercial titled No Words has held the mantle of “My Favorite Commercial of All Time” (among other awards). It perfectly encompasses the emotion of winning the Stanley Cup. It reminds me of winning championships during my playing days. It reminds me of everything that went into winning them. Beyond the hours spent at practice, it’s about all the spare time in the gym, the driveway, the basement, the pond, and any other place I played or practiced something resembling hockey. It reminds me of the countless hours talking about hockey strategy and philosophy with my hockey playing and coaching family members. It reminds me of the injuries I played through, the mistakes I made, the few goals I managed to score — all of which contributed to the roller coaster ride that ended with a considerable piece of jewelry on my finger. After these thoughts go through my mind, “No Words” brings me to the NHL. These players spent an entire decade more getting to their championships than I spent getting to mine. That’s a decade worth of hits, injuries, bus rides, conversations with coaches, and everything else that goes into it. How do you describe the culmination of thirty years worth of blood, sweat and tears? You can’t. There are no words.

Continue reading No Words

Nov 5-11 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Fresh from a road trip to Erie, I’m back with your weekly update on the Jackets prospects.

Last weekend was one of two goal games and shutouts in Springfield as the Falcons continued to hold onto the best record in the Eastern Conference. Starting off on Friday, it was the Tim Erixon show guest starring the puck stopping antics of Curtis McElhinney. In the 2-0 win over the Whale, Erixon would score both goals off blasts from the slot or point giving him three goals in his last two games after scoring three in 52 games last season. Curtis McElhinney made 20 saves in the shutout for his third of the season. After a day off, the Falcons would take on the Calder Cup champion the Norfolk Admirals. In the 5-0 win, the majority of the goals were scored off rebounds allowed by both Admiral goalies. Nick Drazenovic scored the first of his two goals just 41 seconds into the game when he tapped in a Cam Atkinson shot. Nick’s second goal would again come off a Atkinson shot when Cam had a breakaway. Igor Bobkov made the save, but Drazenovic would have a wide open net for his team leading sixth goal. Matt Calvert’s goals were almost identical as he scored off rebounds within inches of the crease. JAM would add his fifth off a rebound. Curtis McElhinney made 35 shots in the win for his second of the weekend giving the Falcons back to back shutouts for the first time since having three straight in 1996. Cam Atkinson would lead the Falcons in scoring with five assists, Nick Drazenovic had two goals and two assists with Matt Calvert and Tim Erixon’s two-goal games being the only other Falcons with multiple points. McElhinney would be named AHL/CCM player of the week with his two shutouts. Starting next week, the Falcons will be road warriors after having nine of their first 11 being at the nest with 12 of its next 16 on the road. Continue reading Nov 5-11 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Oct 29-Nov 4 CBJ Prospect Week In Review

Somewhat of a slow week for some reason but without further adieu here we go with the week in review.

Starting off with Springfield, who are tied for first place in the whole AHL (if you wanna read that again go ahead, I’ll wait). The Falcons went 1-0-0-1 last week, with the win being a BIG one. Starting on Friday, the Birds welcomed the Hershey Bears to town and took a 3-2 shootout loss. Michael Chaput and his rookie “green line” mates Dalton Smith and Sean Collins would combine for Chaput’s first pro goal when he would knock home a rebound, and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault would score his third of the season. Matt Calvert would be the only Falcon to score in the shootout, while Curtis McElhinney would make 27 saves, stopping five of seven in the shootout. Continue reading Oct 29-Nov 4 CBJ Prospect Week In Review

Blue Jackets Launch “Behind the Battle”

The Blue Jackets just released the first video in a series called “Behind the Battle”. Pretty exciting stuff as we welcome John Davidson to Columbus! Be sure to check it out…and watch the next installments on Jackets TV: Part 2 & Part 3

CBJ Hockey Skate Photos

The Union Blue was thrilled with the turn out to the first ever CBJ Hockey Skate session and we’d like to extend a Stinger-sized thank you to our instructors James Nash, Derek Marr and Justin Shum! Many thanks to all in attendance and of course the Blue Jackets for allowing this event to become free and for the post-skate pizza. It sure hit the spot!