Ask yourself honestly – if someone had told you in January of 2013 that the Blue Jackets would be in contention for a playoff spot, would you have believed them? What this roster of players has done this year is nothing short of amazing. A group of guys that pretty much every major media outlet slotted into 30th in the league refused to listen to the naysayers. They fought their way through a compressed schedule, crisscrossing the country to play 48 games of hockey on little rest. Somehow, these guys, these Blue Jackets, now find themselves battling the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild for 8th in the Western Conference and last night, in the latest in a string of “must win” games, the team stepped up and delivered once again – bringing home the 3-1 win.
So pick your adjective – stunning, shocking, wonderful, amazing, timely, deserved, due – whatever you choose, the Blue Jackets are it. This isn’t the team we’ve seen in years past – where sometimes we as fans felt like we wanted success more than they did – this is the team that demands respect and demands success. So what is a fan base to do? Well, we wanted to find a way to send a love letter to this team – to let them know what it means to see them build this kind of season of hockey. We’ve stood behind this team for a long time, this kind of run is what we’ve hoped for. So what better way to do that then to help the community in which this team resides while celebrating all that the boys in Union Blue have done. Thus, the second Money on the Board was born, and it caught like wildfire.
As of this morning, the final tallies are in:
Continue reading Money on the Board Recap – Columbus @ Dallas 4/25
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
A huge hard fought win for the Blue Jackets finally brings them into sole possession of a playoff birth. A great road game from the Jackets paid off huge, even though it looked like it might slip away from them in the 3rd period. Sergei Bobrovsky was his usual stellar self, only really getting beat on one goal. I’m not going to break down that ridiculous Dave Steckel goal (which even Puck Daddy thought was very strange), other than to say that it could have broken the team. Goals like that are the ultimate deflators. It could have ended the Jackets in this game, which probably would have ended their season. Instead, they didn’t miss a beat, tied it up a few minutes later, and pulled it off in overtime (again). You can’t praise the heart of this team enough. Let’s take a closer look at the goals: Continue reading Goal Breakdowns @ Anaheim 4/17
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
It was the second night of a back to back and the Jackets were on the road tonight, this time facing the Wild. Given this team’s history, many were anxious to see how the team would respond given the high energy game of last night and the loss of home ice advantage. Well, let’s just say the game did not disappoint.
Things got going early when Charlie Coyle blatantly took his elbow and drove it in to Artem Anisimov‘s head. Arty would fall and Brandon Dubinsky would immediately answer the bell coming to his teammate’s defense. Coyle got a match penalty which kept him off the ice for the rest of the night in addition to the Wild’s next game; but, given the post-game news that Arty is out “indefinitely” I will be severely disappointed if more games aren’t dolled out in response to Coyle’s actions. Completely unacceptable. The other party to the scrum, Dubi, would get 17 total minutes of penalties and sit for basically the entire first period.
Continue reading Recap: Columbus @ Minnesota 4/13
Last night continued the series of “most important games” for the Blue Jackets as the boys in Union Blue fight to claw into a playoff spot. There was a lot on the line, not only two coveted points but a battle for pride as JD faced his former club and Ken Hitchcock was once again in Nationwide. The Blues came in on the second night of a back to back riding a 6 game win streak and the Jackets were bringing Brandon Dubinsky and Jared Boll back into the lineup.
Continue reading Game Recap: St. Louis @ Columbus 4/12
Another shutout win for Sergei Bobrovsky last night, but one much different than one would have expected based on the season so far. Instead of Bob stealing the show and helping the Blue Jackets grab two points they had no business taking, he made 30 relatively easy saves. The Jackets looked like the much more dangerous team last night, and while Bob still had to make a couple of gem saves (and get bailed out by a shaky no-goal call), the majority of the play was controlled by Bob’s teammates. All four lines were firing, as eleven different Jackets picked up points, including at least one forward on each line. After a such a lackluster effort against Minnesota, it was fantastic to see the fire we all know is there come out in force. Continue reading Goal Breakdowns vs. San Jose 4/9
Tough loss for the Blue Jackets last night. Tough loss indeed. With Columbus and St. Louis both coming off hard fought victories the night before, and flying into St. Louis late Thursday, the usual excuses for a road back to back just don’t apply. Fortunately, the Blue Jackets continued their run of showing up to play. They pretty much out everything-ed the Blues, from shots on goal (27 to 19) to faceoffs (33 to 26). Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. Jake Allen came up huge and David Backes scored a ridiculous game winning goal to get the Blues the 4 point win. It’s going to be tough sledding for the Jackets to make the playoffs (especially considering Detroit’s win later last night), but they aren’t done yet. Now onto the review of all three goals (yes, three). Continue reading Goal Breakdowns @ St. Louis 4/5
Welcome friends. I have drawn the responsibility to write about the first game for Marian Gaborik in a Blue Jackets sweater, and what a game it was. “Gaby” met the team in Nashville for a matchup against a Predators team that was just as hungry for points as they were. The Jackets were searching for their first win in regulation in Nashville since April 3, 2006, and 7 years and 1 day later, they did it. The Jackets take home a solid 3-1 victory and two points. Here’s how it all went down.
The first period started a bit shaky with the Jackets looking slightly tentative, but Sergei Bobrovsky came up huge once again with some big saves early. Perhaps they were feeling out chemistry with a new star on the roster and Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky returning (not to mention the absence of Derick Brassard), but after eight minutes of tentative play, they were behind the Predators 9-2 in SOG and were lucky to keep the game at zero.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ Nashville, 4/4