In the fourth of five meetings this year between the Jackets and the Capitals the Jackets found a way to come off the All-Star break confident and persistent. They beat the Caps 4-3 at Nationwide Arena and Curtis McElhinney stood tall in net. Let’s take a look at the three stars as named by NHL.com:
Columbus Blue Jackets
It’s over. An event that really has been in the works since 2012 – an NHL All-Star game in Columbus – is over.
Think about that. For three years our city has been hoping, and planning and waiting to showcase what we could do – what Columbus was about. And finally the time came. This past weekend was the big payoff and what a payoff it was.
First came the Winter Park, a glorious outside festival of s’mores, live TV, food, drink and the marquis outdoor rink. If you didn’t make it on the outdoor rink, well…you should have. There still is nothing like skating outdoors – the crisp air biting at your cheeks, the ice just a touch drier crunching under your skates. Bundled up with a scarf and mittens and perhaps your favorite toque as you whipped around the ice – maybe even watching a Blue Jackets game on the outdoor jumbotron. It was glorious. And right around the corner was the best sight – the snow slide. Seriously. A 30+ foot high SNOW SLIDE. Amazing.
There was the Fan Fair in the Convention Center, the 5K run and of course the skills competition and the game…all of which was expertly planned and executed but…
The Columbus Blue Jackets powerplay has been humming this season. They are currently sitting at 4th overall, scoring at a 24.3% clip. If they can keep that up, this would be the deadliest CBJ powerplay ever, as well as their top finish (records held by last years 11th place finish at 19.3%). So what has changed since last year? A lot. The personal hasn’t changed too much, but how they have been able to deploy that personnel has opened up more options, and allowed the powerplay to be more diverse. For all the things that RJ Umberger wasn’t good at, he was a pretty good net front presence on the powerplay. But that is Nick Foligno‘s job now, and he’s obviously flourished there. The other major components are Ryan Johansen, James Wisniewski, Jack Johnson, and the new member Scott Hartnell. It’s that last name that really opens up what the Jackets can do. Continue reading…
The Columbus Blue Jackets strolled into a cold Winnipeg Thursday night with, admittedly, a weekend more glamorous than a few points late at night in the NHL’s least park-filled city. The Jackets were looking to make a road trip a perfect 3/3 after beating a pesky Bruins club and meandering out of Minnesota with 2 points against one of this season’s most disappointing stories. The Jets had won 4 in a row going into tonight’s game, and it showed all evening that they were confident in their speed, their strength and their goaltending.
A slow first period for both teams lead into an interesting second period before the Jackets pulled away from the Minnesota Wild for a 3-1 win. It was a close game in every facet, from shots to faceoff wins, to blocked shots, and powerplay goals. A huge save by Sergei Bobrovsky on a penalty shot and a crucial kill on a four minute powerplay by the Jackets allowed them to maintain the 1-1 tie going into the third. From there, the Wiz-bomb took over, with a goal and tipped in shot providing the winning margin.
3rd Star: Zach Parise
Parise had a pretty solid game, doing everything for the Wild. He’s a very strangely rated player at this point in his career. I can’t decide if he is underrated or overrated. I feel like he doesn’t get discussed as much as he should when talking about the top two-way players in the game. But at the same time, he’s not the superstar he’s sometimes made out to be, and not the offensive force some seem to expect him to be. Don’t get me wrong, he’s an awesome player, but he was also on the losing side of the biggest play of the game tonight.
Greetings all! I’m back after our latest top 20 prospect update for the week in review. We’ll start off on a rare light week in Springfield.
The Falcons were off to Albany for a game against the Devils. After a scoreless first, Kerby Rychel tipped a Frederic St Denis point shot to make it 1-0. The Devils tied it with just under a minute remaining before winning it in overtime. Anton Forsberg made 25 saves in the 2-1 loss. Closing the week off against Binghamton, the Falcons went through a rough one. After a scoreless first period, the Sens built a 3-0 lead before St Denis scored to make it 3-1. After a late Sens goal, Lukas Sedlak and Austin Madaisky scored to make it 4-3 but the Sens finished it by scoring two empty net goals. Forsberg would take the loss stopping 13 of 17 in the first two periods before handing things over to Oscar Dansk stopping all nine shots he faced. As for next week, the Falcons will play two games before taking time for the AHL All Star game.
The Blue Jackets are now on a four game losing streak. The first three seemed to show uninspired hockey, but last night was different. After a significant line jumbling by Todd Richards, and the addition of rookie Josh Anderson, the Jackets showed tenacious, physical, offense-minded hockey. They outshot the Rangers, they out possessed the Rangers, but Lundvist out-saved the Jackets. And that’s the tale of the tape.
Let’s take a look at the three stars for the game as named by NHL.com:
Hello all – time for our annual post WJC update to my top 20 prospect list. Starting off with a recap of our last top 20 list, here it is:
1. Alexander Wennberg
2. Kerby Rychel
3. Sonny Milano
4. Marko Dano
5a/5b. Anton Forsberg/Oscar Dansk
6. Oliver Bjorkstrand
7. Mike Reilly
8. Michael Chaput
9. Cody Goloubef
10. Daniel Zaar
11. Dillon Heatherington
12. Josh Anderson
13. Peter Quenneville
14. Markus Soberg
15. Ryan Collins
16. Julien Pelletier
17. Blake Siebenaler
18. Joonas Korpisalo
19. Elvis Merzlikins
Now, unlike last time where we had some subtractions today we only have additions to the list along with some normal movement in the list.
The Jackets…ugh…the Jackets came into Nationwide Arena tonight looking to find a way to stop spinning around the deep end, 10 feet underwater. Metaphorically, the Blue Jackets seem to be stuck in a deep, dark end of the pool with no way to tell which was is up, down, left, right or what. The bad news is, that while they’re drowning the other 4 teams ahead of them keep pouring water into the pool. See the problem here? For 50 or so minutes the Jackets looked like they had done exactly what they needed to do: played a solid enough game against a good foe to lock up two points and right themselves, even if it was still 10 feet under the meniscus point of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Then, terror struck.
The last few games have provided plenty of goals for and (mostly) against which to look at in further detail (21 goals against and 15 goals for in only five January games). I’m only going to break down two goals though, one against the Blue Jackets during their 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders, and the game winning goal by the CBJ against the Dallas Stars. Now let’s get down to business.