So I haven’t posted a goal breakdown yet this season. Bad job by me. Sorry about that team. Anyway, what better goal to start it off with than Nick Foligno’s beauty on Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning. First things first though, some context for the goal: we’re almost five minutes into the second period in a game locked at zeroes. Both goalies are playing well, with Sergei Bobrovsky looking like last season’s Bob, and Ben Bishop looking like he’s looked all year. For those not following along with the Lightning, Bishop is in the top five or so in pretty much every relevant goaltending statistic. With all that happening, this game looked like it could be a ‘first goal wins’ kind of game, which is exactly how it played out. For those who have somehow missed it or just want to watch it again, here is video of the goal: Continue reading Goal Breakdown: Geometry Lessons
3rd Star: Ryan Murray
Murray, Murray, Murray. What more can I say about arguably this team’s most complete defenseman? I have no problem awarding him a star of the game based on having a two point night with 1G and 1A. He tallied 3 blocked shots on the evening to help make Bob’s efforts towards a shutout easier. It’s clear that Coach Richards trusts this kid with him logging another 20 minutes tonight, 4 of which came on special teams.
2nd Star: Sergei Bobrovsky
I know there’s an unwritten rule that if a goalie gets a shutout, writers are obligated to award him a star of the game. Makes enough sense as it takes a Herculean effort to land one, right? While Bob had a solid game, he really wasn’t challenged much this evening. It’s a credit to the skaters in front of him blocking an impressive 20 shots and spending so much time in the Toronto zone. The shots he did face, he had a clear view of them and was square quickly. I’d love to make room in the three stars for Jack Skille or Boone Jenner but I suppose I’ll allow the #1 cop on the force to enjoy his #2 star.
1st Star: Ryan Johanson
It’s hard not to be pleased with Ryan Johanson’s play tonight and as of late. He had an impressive 3 points coming in the form of 2 goals and an assist two of which points came on the power play. He was big, he was physical, he was in the right places at the right time and most importantly he capitalized on his opportunities. In an evening where the roster was seemingly composed of any body that could skate and saw defenseman Dalton Prout lined up as a forward due to injury, he and the rest of the team were completely unfazed and took care of business. This kind of game builds confidence in continuing to put him on the ice for important power plays or draws on the penalty kill.
Jack Skille. Holy cow, this guy played tonight like he never wants to lace up an AHL jersey ever again. Immediately after driving to the net to score his first goal of the game he creates another great scoring chance and was denied. His legs were moving all night long and was causing Toronto skaters fits. It’s always great to get scoring from a call up and if he continues to play this well, we can rest easy knowing there’s no need to rush back any of our injured forwards until they’re completely healthy.
Um. Injuries? Nikita Nikitin took a blast off of the inside of his skate boot and was clearly in pain. We didn’t see him on the ice after that. Artem Anisimov took a monster hit in open ice from Dion Phaneuf that was mistakenly called as a hit to the head at the time. I’m sure the league will give the hit their requisite once-over and promptly realize it was clean. Clean doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Anisimov left the ice clearing in pain and clutching at his shoulder. In his post-game presser Coach Richards indicated that he doesn’t think Artem will miss any time which is a relief but it was a scary moment at the time.
All-in-all, tonight was a great game by the Jackets and they got contributions from everyone. If they can sustain this recipe and energy level they’re sure to gather more points.
The title of this post is misleading, I know that. Unfortunately this post isn’t about making giant piles of snowballs, hiding in snowforts and pelting your friends with the aforementioned nuggets of ice. Instead, it’s about how the accumulation of a lot of little things can lead a team in one direction or another over the course of a game. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, getting bigger and bigger, until there is no stopping it.
Clearly, this is about the crapfest in Edmonton. But here’s the thing about that game: the Jackets didn’t start off playing terribly. The opening part of the game was controlled by the Blue Jackets. If we could measure possession by the actual amount of time the puck was on a team’s stick, I would hazard a guess that Columbus would top Edmonton handily over the first half of the first period. All that possession was in the neutral zone, but still. Continue reading The Snowball Game
Wednesday night in Calgary. Progress like a slow morphine drip. Sitting down to watch the game, I went through a pretty embarrassing checklist as the guys took the ice. Skating hard? Check. Taking decent shots? Check. Limiting Calgary offensively? Check. Bobrovsky not hopeless? Check. It is never the kind of game you want to watch as a fan, waiting for a similar implosion like that which we witnessed on Tuesday in Edmonton. These events can be small blips on the radar, and I am optimistic that Columbus was able to turn the page after Tuesday and improve upon some massive mistakes.
After last night’s game I was looking forward to writing tonight’s stars of the night and predicted we’d have some Blue Jackets to write about. Without further ado:
3rd Star: Joe Colborne
I have no issue with Colborne being considered for a star of the game. He netted Calgary’s only score and put in a good 12 minute effort.
We’re back with our weekly prospects review. Here’s all that’s going on with the Jackets’ assets this past week.
Starting off as usual in Springfield, the Falcons went 2-0 last week including one game that went to a shootout to clinch it. Friday night it was the Bridgeport Sound Tigers coming to town and the Falcons picked up a 3-2 win. Late in the second period, Jack Skille found Tim Erixon at the point. Tim’s shot was deflected by Blake Parlett for his first of the season. Two minutes later the Falcons would strike again when Frederic St. Denis fired a shot and Jack Skille would get the rebound – flipping a backhand in for his second of the season. Five minutes into the third period, Blake Parlett struck again. After some pretty passing by the Falcons power play, Blake snapped his shot over the goalie’s shoulder. The Sound Tigers scored two goals in a two minute span to make it 3-2. Jeremy Smith would make 21 saves in the win.
Welcome to a new feature here at The Union Blue. After every game someone from the tUB team will be giving their quick hit thoughts on the three stars of the game (per the NHL), as well as one stud or dud of the night not reflected in the stars (which might not necessarily be a player). So feel free to chime in with who impressed you tonight, who disappointed, or who you want to see run out of town. Unfortunately, we picked the worst Jackets game of recent memory to debut this. Lucky me, I had to stay up through this crapfest. So let’s make this one quick, as the stars of tonight’s 7-0 loss to the Oilers are:
3rd Star: Ryan Smyth
Always loved Smyth. The wood stick, the brutal skating, it’s like watching my old man play. And yet he somehow dropped three points on the Jackets. Good hustle boys.
Blue Jackets Fans it’s time to try for your chance to win seats to sit in the Blue Jackets Social Station at Nationwide Arena when the Predators come to town November 25th!
We’re going to pick three people who will each win a pair of tickets for the Social Station for Wednesday’s game – the first game our Jackets return to Nationwide Arena after the season’s longest road trip.
HOW DO YOU WIN?
It was another heart breaker for both the Blue Jackets and their fans. A consistently tough opponent in Boston was bound to give Columbus a hard fought battle, but as the game came to a close I could not help but feel like a win was stolen. This scenario played out plenty of times last season, tied heading to overtime. One would think that Blue Jackets fans are used to the knee knocking heart pounding moments of overtime by now, but it rarely gets easier.
For the most part, I think it was a game the Blue Jackets deserved to win. I personally didn’t fall in love with their scoring opportunities, but they certainly had them, and for at least forty minutes throughout the game, they controlled play. Despite a very lackluster start to the second period, Columbus managed to battle back to 12-12 in second period shots after being down 4-12 at the midway point.
Bobrovksy was good, but not great. Through the wickets is never a good thing, making the overtime loss a bit more painful. Hard to fault him on the Thornton goal as Johnson tipped the shot, and I am sure he’d rather have the first goal back instead of settling for begging the referees for goaltender interference. Beyond the goals, he had a couple of moments where he was just barely in control and the puck seemed to squirm through him a bit. That said, he also managed a couple great saves to keep Columbus in the game when they were playing poorly during stretches. In any case, at .903 on the night, Bob was once again very human.