Earlier this morning, news out of twitter suggested that the tenacious young forward Matt Calvert received a two year contract. He was scheduled to be an RFA this summer, and while his efforts in a Blue Jackets uniform over the last couple seasons can be easily compared to a roller coaster ride, his play of late justified a solid pay day. Here’s the first I saw of it, and a kudos to Rob Kunz over at 10TV for the retweet:
@Rob10TVSports: RT @RenLavoieRDS: Matt Calvert signed a contract extension with Blue Jackets. 2 years / $1 975 000 total. One way contract. #RDS #CBJ Continue reading Matt Calvert Re-Signed for Two Years
The hope for the playoffs continues! Columbus continued the dream run by defeating the San Jose Sharks Sunday for a crucial two points, moving them into a tie (in points) for 7th in the West, with only two games remaining in their season. Generally this waits for the bottom end of the game review, but I think it’s important to show just where Columbus stands as they head to Dallas in another absolutely crucial game:
7 – Minnesota – 51 points – 3 games remaining
8 – Columbus – 51 points – 2 games remaining
9 – Detroit – 48 points – 4 games remaining
10 – Dallas – 48 points – 3 games remaining
11 – Phoenix – 46 points – 4 games remaining
As you can see, Columbus will likely need all four of their remaining possible points in order to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs, with games against Dallas on Thursday and the ever resilient Nashville Predators to close out their season at home. If they can manage to achieve both wins, they will sit at 55 points, forcing Detroit to win all four remaining games in order to vault them over Columbus into 8th place.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ San Jose 4/21
As the Blue Jackets have made a season out of games that have had ridiculous rises and falls, I thought it appropriate to share my thoughts on a period by period basis as the action unfolds. This is my first attempt at a reactionary recap rather than doing it post game, so enjoy the small change of pace.
The first period began with a lot of jump, taking more than seven minutes before the first whistle. While Columbus came out of the gate hungry, their second game in as many nights had them doing a bit of watching rather than reacting quickly towards the puck. Despite the back and forth, shots that actually hit the net came at a real premium.
Los Angeles struck first, scoring a powerplay goal (in lieu of a Dalton Prout hooking penalty) off the leg of Fedor Tyutin. It would appear the puck luck continues to favour the home teams on this Western swing. This goal, along with a number of minutes following, were basically all LA or neutral zone play. In fact, the Jackets could very well conclude the first period without a legitimate scoring chance.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ Los Angeles 4/18
Is your pulse raised Columbus?
That team, that 5-12-2 mess, spiraling towards the dreaded basement in lieu of a Davidson fueled rebuild, is a figment of history. Twenty four games later, this new look, hard working, hair raising workhorse of a roster continues to get the job done, this time in the extra frame. Comparably, that makes their record 15-4-5
The victory against Colorado improves their win streak to four games, and betters their last ten result to 7-3-0. All this was done in front of a ‘claimed’ crowd of 13,694, although I think they may have been counting hot dogs sold over seats filled. Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ Colorado 4/15
What was proving to be another mediocre trade deadline left much of the social media based Blue Jackets fan base uneasy, concerned, and somewhat frustrated that new General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen had yet to ripple the water in trades let alone make a resounding impact on the Blue Jackets roster. With the playoffs remarkably within reach, and the brick by brick nature of Columbus’ rebuild, questions about players like Brassard, Mason, Umberger, and a few choice others’ pending future with the team seemed to be very much up in the air.
And yet the clock struck ten, eleven, twelve, and one o’clock without any major changes, not only with the Blue Jackets, but league wide.
Finally, when it seemed like today would be the ultimate “Trade DUDline day,” news started pouring in. Steve Mason would no longer adorn the Blue Jackets sweater. He would be dealt to Philadelphia in exchange for Michael Leighton and a third round pick in the 2015 draft.
Continue reading Kekalainen Makes Major Splash at Trade Deadline
The Blue Jackets took to the ice Friday night in an attempt to extend their franchise record-breaking streak of consecutive games with a point to twelve games. It is hard to believe that this streak began nearly a month ago to the day when we were facing the tail of two incredibly tight losses to St Louis and Chicago that put the team record at 5-12-2, yet as the game began this evening, that momentum that has seemed to carry through this month was palpable.
A major contributor to their streak has been the penalty kill, slowly improving throughout and now resting in 3rd place amongst the other 30 National Hockey League teams. This penalty kill has been spotless in fourteen of their last fifteen games (including this evening), a combined total of 34 out of 35 or 97.14%. A combination of stymy defensive work along with high end goaltending have made this streak possible, and I personally believe it helps to provide this team with the confidence needed to play their game at even strength.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus vs. Calgary (3/22)
In the final meeting this regular season between the Blue Jackets and the Blackhawks, fans of both teams were treated to an excellent game, loaded with shots, great saves, quality plays, and extended time. Sadly, the sea of red was quite visible in the crowd, however, the Hawks fans weren’t noticeably louder than the Blue Jackets fans until the final outcome was determined, and any pro Hawks chants were stymied by the collective.
The shootout loss tonight ends the season series at 0-2-2. While the Blackhawks achieved all eight points available, Columbus put up a substantial fight in each of the four games, losing by a goal (or less if you consider the shootout loss). And lest we forget the first meeting of the season where a terrible interference call on Foligno left Columbus one goal short. In short, Columbus put up an impressive fight against one of the best teams in the National Hockey League. Certainly an improvement from years past.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus vs. Chicago 3/15
Rather than recap the awesome win against Detroit last night, I thought it would be a good time to consider the Blue Jackets over the last ten games. The new look roster, despite being injury ravaged at every point of this season, has managed to generate life on the ice, producing an enjoyable game experience for even the more casual fan. They have taken a talent scattered albatross of mediocrity (see: 2011/2012 season) and transformed into a committed, grindy, “never say die” attitude.
I want to start with their record. In their last ten games, Columbus has won six of them, lost two in overtime, and lost two in regulation. Of those games, the only time they won or lost by more than one goal was their 3-0 defeat of the Red Wings on Saturday. Looking back even further, the Blue Jackets have completed 17 of 26 games this season where the margin of victory was one goal. When was the last time we could talk about this team and consider them in 77% of their games all the way to the final buzzer?
Next, and my favourite statistic right now, is their penalty kill. Stymy in ever way, the Blue Jackets had a nine straight game without a powerplay goal against snapped during a 5 on 3 yesterday. It is hard to contain the likes of Franzen, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk. This impressive streak is something we as Blue Jackets fans are not used to, nor are we used to the 85.9% success rate of the PK which places them 5th in the NHL. It is not only a testament to the tenacity of our defensive forwards and defenseman during those stretches, it is a testament to the stability and success rate of one Sergei Bobrosvky.
Continue reading Lasting Impressions from Recent Games
For the third straight game, the Columbus Blue Jackets took to the ice and accomplished the (arguably) inconceivable. Yes, prior to this season, backs were turned, basements were determined, and most analysts gave little thought to the current structure of this team.
Yet the boys in Union Blue continue to offer some of the most enjoyable hockey we fans have seen in this city for years. Passion? Heart? Tenacity? It is most certainly all there. They may be void of pure, raw, superstar talent, but the additions to the roster between Springfield call-ups and new acquisitions have allowed this team to have a legitimate heart beat.
Tonight, without considering the final score, was the NINTH straight game that was decided by a single goal. In addition to that obscene total, this marks the FIFTH straight game that needed additional time to produce a winner. At the current record of 8-12-4 I would hardly deem this team worthy of the ‘kardiac kids’ (yes, a Canadian can reference football) label, but I have been noticeably drawn back into games after feeling numb through their first fifteen games. Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus vs. Vancouver 3/7
The Columbus Blue Jackets completed their six game road trip tonight in Chicago against the yet to be defeated in regulation Blackhawks. It was a massive task for a team struggling to find offense, averaging only two goals per game throughout the road trip.
Steve Mason got the call in net for Columbus, John Moore made his return from injury in favour of injured Jack Johnson, and recently recalled Ryan Johansen began his next quest at justifying a full time spot in the National Hockey League.
The first period was a pleasant surprise for those Jackets fans who have endured this season. It was full of pressure in the Chicago end with high end scoring chances, along with limited chances for Chicago (excluding while they were killing penalties). I made note of this as the period wore on, but it was a welcome change to see this play against a team like Chicago.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ Chicago 2/24