With a rare off day for everyone in the Blue Jackets organization, thought I’d do a full update on the all the Jackets prospects and their teams.
CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE PROSPECTS:
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE (TOP 8 IN CONFERENCE MAKE PLAYOFFS)
G-Oscar Dansk-Erie Otters
Team Record 15-26-3-5 (10th in the Western Conference 5th in the Midwest Division)
Season Stats 30GP 8-15-2-3 3.72GAA .901Sv%
Currently out with a Concussion Continue reading Blue Jackets Prospects Stat Update
An evening after an extremely hard fought win against Dallas and a fog delay which delayed their flight until this morning, the Blue Jackets took to the ice against a very strong Minnesota Wild team. Before they even arrived in St Paul, I had a sneaky suspicion that their previous twenty-four hours would degrade their effort on ice, but as a Jackets fan, the best thing we can do right now is be optimistic. This rings especially true with this group of players who we were told would be extremely hard working.
Fortunately for viewing entertainment, Columbus came out of the gate strong, controlling the play early on and forcing the issue deep into the Minnesota defensive zone. While the scoring chances were not piling, the opportunities were, and felt like it was only a matter of time before they struck. Tack on a Minnesota netminder in Backstrom who was handing over juicy rebounds all game, and it felt like the Blue Jackets faithful would be well on their way to the first win streak of the year.
But a thirty minute gap between the middle of the first period and near the end of the second period caused optimism to halt. Scoring chances, or even possession in the offensive zone seemed to become a premium for the Jackets. Goals by Koivu (sneaky goal from behind the goal line) and Gilbert (unfortunate off a block directly onto his tape — where was the Blue Jacket coverage again?) put Columbus in a familiar two goal deficit heading into the first intermission.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ Minnesota 1/29
Justin Bourne at the Backhand Shelf had a fantastic post earlier today on rewarding grinders for playing well, then giving them too many minutes. We saw a little of this last night for the Blue Jackets. While the 4th line of Colton Gillies, Mark Letestu and Jared Boll played around six minutes of even strength ice time, they were quite effective in doing so. As the game wore on, CBJ Coach Todd Richards ending up rewarding them. Through most of the game, they were doing exactly what a 4th line is supposed to do. They kept the puck deep in the offensive zone, they threw the body around with abandon, got the fans and teammates excited, and (most importantly) they avoided getting scored on. They even managed to draw a couple of CBJ powerplays. This fine play resulted in the bountiful reward of a few extra minutes of playing time in the 3rd period, as almost half of their ice time came in the final frame.
Continue reading 4th Liners, Reward Minutes, and How They Can Backfire
A little over 10,400 Blue Jackets faithful showed up to Nationwide Arena last night to see if our hometown team could finally deliver a regulation win against the Dallas Stars based on the “never be outworked” philosophy that was promised this season. After some early back and forth, it was confirmed that both Jagr and Benn would be in the lineup, and the placement of Lehtonen in goal promised us a good challenge for the match up.
The early part of last night didn’t show much promise. We were outskated, continued to play poorly in the neutral zone, and did not seem to be up to the challenge of another game so quickly after the
tie loss to Chicago. The Blue Jackets execution on the power play was non-existent early on in the game. This included the inability to capitalize on an 5-on-3 opportunity that seemed to seal our fate and cement the fact that the goals just weren’t going to come this year. It was nearing the end of the second, with the boo birds coming out, that I found myself with some rationalizations “Well, at least there’s hockey”; “Hey, at least we’re facing a #1 goalie and not a back-up”.
Continue reading Recap – Dallas @ Columbus, 1/28
Greetings Blue Jackets nation a slight change of schedule this week as I’ll only be covering Monday-Saturday as Sunday is the AHL’s All Star Game Skills competition and I don’t want to split the All Star Game between two posts.
Starting off in Springfield as usual, the Falcons travelled to Albany to take on the Devils for the second time in four days with the Falcons riding a five game winning streak. In the first period, Ryan Craig interrupted a clearing attempt getting the puck to Cody Goloubef whose shot flared wide to Michael Chaput. Chaput would then shoot it and miss with Craig gathering it and getting it to Goloubef for his second of the season. Early in the second period, the Falcons would strike again when AHL All Star Tim Erixon sent an outlet pass finding Ryan Craig who sent a pass to the slot finding Michael Chaput who waited out Jeff Frazee for his sixth of the season. Not even a minute later, the Falcons allowed a shorthanded goal when Mike Sislo would take it the length of the rink for his second of the season. Scott Howes who is only signed to a AHL deal would make it 3-1 – scoring on a pretty wrap around late in the second period. 1:34 into the third period, Tomas Kubalik scored his 11th when he was the trailer on a two on one of Michael Chaput and Ryan Craig scoring on the second chance. Three minutes later the Devils would strike making it 4-2. Allen York would make 25 saves in the win – his fifth of the season. Also in goalie news, Curtis McEllhinney returned from his lower body injury dressing as York’s backup. Continue reading January 21-26 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
The Blue Jackets have been allowing a lot of goals so far this season. Way too many of these have been easily preventable through competent defensive zone play from the forwards. Now this isn’t excusing the defense, as they have been no great shakes either, but the forwards have been guilty of very simple mistakes. There has been a lot of puck-watching, players out of position, chasing the opponent, and over-committing. Let’s quickly take a look at the guilty parties so far this season. Goals are rarely the fault of a single player, but I’m going to highlight a specific forward or two on each of these.
Continue reading Defensive Zone Play by Forwards – a Work In Progress
Let’s get to it with a look at last week’s performance from all of our Blue Jacket’s prospects.
This was one of the Falcons busier weeks as the team played four games going 4-0 in one week for the first time since November11-17 2002. Starting off with a Tuesday matchup against Manchester. itwas a wild one with the teams combining for 12 goals and the Falcons having something they hadn’t had since February of 2011 – we’ll get to that. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault would score his 14th, 15th, and 16th goals of the season. With the Falcons trailing 1-0 in the first, JAM picked up his own rebound to tie it at one even though the announcer gave it to Sean Collins. Michael Chaput continued his strong play of late when he made it 2-1. Chaput found a loose puck and snapped it past Mannino for his fifth of the year. After another Monarchs goal, JAM would strike again snapping a wrist shot from the faceoff circle. the first period would end with the Falcons leading 3-2. The second period would be almost all Monarchs as they’d score two goals with Springfield signed Wade MacLeod scoring the Falcons only goal when he’d take a rink long pass from Cody Goloubef and made a nice move around a diving dman before shooting. The third period would be all Falcons with Michael Chaput and Tomas Kubalik combining on a goal just 43 seconds into the period for Kubalik’s ninth of the season. After Andy Andreoff would tie it at five, with the Falcons on the power play, a scramble in front resulted in Ryan Craig tapping the puck out to Nick Holden who tapped it over to JAM who unleashed a rocket over Mannino’s glove to finish the trick. Michael Chaput would finish the scoring with his second of the night, Allen York would make 22 saves in the 7-5 win. Continue reading January 14-20 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
The Blue Jackets took to the ice in Phoenix last night to begin their West Coast back to back. It was an effort barely worth discussing, and laced with mistakes, leaving little to build on. In fact, in an attempt to compare their effort to mine in writing this recap, I have been aimlessly waving my hands at my keyboard in hopes that words form. Sadly, it is not working.
The shots only begin to tell the tale. Mike Smith fell to a blocker hand injury only four saves into the game, bringing Jason Labarbara into the game cold. He went on to make 21 easy saves en route to a .955 effort. Making backup goalies look like Vezina candidates; familiar.
On the other side of the ice, for much of the first two periods, Steve Mason gave the Blue Jackets a fighting chance to stay in the game. Unfortunately, the defensive breakdowns continued, and as the goals poured in, Mason found himself climbing a mountain. With his glove hand exposed, Phoenix capitalized on numerous occasions, wide open in the slot with time to shoot.
It is a strange situation to build up a year full of effort from guys I believe want to work hard for sixty minutes, only to watch a game look eerily similar to one I had seen 50+ times last year. I had thought after all the roster shuffling and new additions, this team would be past that.
Continue reading Recap: Columbus @ Phoenix 1/23
The Columbus Blue Jackets took to the ice at Nationwide Arena Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Having reviewed the schedule after it was released last week, I knew there would be some serious moaning and groaning regarding the season opener against Nashville, and then home opener against Detroit. Certainly two teams who have had their fair share of wins against Columbus in years past, the idea of taking two points out of the four possible was starting to look really good.
Nevertheless, Columbus came out to support the Jackets in a very big way. 19,202 was the (well past) sellout number provided to the fans, totaling what was later confirmed to be the largest turnout to a non-playoff Blue Jackets hockey game in franchise history. Couple that with the raucous cheers for the players, John P McConnell, John Davidson, and the distinct lack of red in the stands, and the boys in Union Blue were provided an ideal environment to steal the show.
Continue reading Opening Night Recap: Columbus vs Detroit 1/21