Three Stars: CBJ @ NYI

Posted by The Coach on April 12, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

Today is bittersweet. Bitter, because the Blue Jackets season has come to an end. Sweet, because this injury-riddled nightmare of a Blue Jackets season has come to an end. They did it in typical fashion (as of late) by coming back to beat the playoff bound New York Islanders 5-4 in overtime Saturday night in the final game ever at Nassau Coliseum. Curtis McElhinney got the start, making 48 saves in regulation and overtime, and three more times in the shootout. Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky, Alexander Wennberg, and Scott Hartnell scored for the Blue Jackets, while Wennberg and Atkinson scored the markers in the shootout to bring home the win.

3rd Star: Brandon Dubinsky

Dubi is the best. Just the best.

It’s one thing for Dubinsky to play the way he does. He has no elite skills, nor anything you would probably describe as above average. He just has great hockey sense, works harder than pretty much everyone, and always makes the right play. That would be enough for me to love the guy, but he’s also tough as a sack of nails. Loses four teeth (making ten lost for his career), comes back, scores, and fights. Just the best.

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CBJ Prospect CHL Playoff 1st Round Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on April 10, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Hello all! Time for the first full-on recap of the Jackets prospects taking part in the various leagues of the CHL’s playoffs.

Peter Quenneville-Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL-won series 4-1)
Series/Playoff Stats 5GP 1-3-4 -3 2PIM

Brandon opened the playoffs as the top seed in the WHL’s Eastern Conference and faced three-time defending champs: the Edmonton Oil Kings. In the second period trailing 2-0, Peter scored off a feed from Morgan Klimchuk from below the goal line to make it 2-1 in the 4-1 game one loss.

In game two, Peter helped his little brother John score his first of the playoffs when, with the Kings…uh Wheat Kings leading 6-1, John skated in and passed the puck to Peter who passed back and shot to make it 7-1 in a 8-1 win. The series then switched to Edmonton for games three through five (2-3-2 series).

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Three Stars: TOR @ CBJ

Posted by DerDrache on April 08, 2015
Stars of the Night / No Comments

It’s been great watching how the CBJ square up with some of the league’s best teams that are sure to make noise in the playoffs. While that’s a great measuring stick, seeing how a team plays against a lesser match up. Toronto’s had a rough year and seems pretty well settled into place for the 4th overall draft position barring a lucky lottery pick. The good news is tonight, the CBJ did what a good teams should do against a team in this scenario: beat them handily. Toronto arguably didn’t see its best scoring chances until the 3rd period and Bobrovsky played the final 20 minutes as if the Jackets held only a 1 goal lead and a wild card spot was on the line. Even though there won’t be a post-season for Columbus fans, there were smiles a plenty as the CBJ faithful headed for their vehicles this evening. Tonight’s stars include: Continue reading…

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CBJ should focus on defense in draft

Posted by CBJProspects on April 07, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

Greetings, all! The draft is nearing and it’s time to start thinking about who are likely targets for the Blue Jackets. If you were to rank the Jackets prospect depth by group it’d be forwards leading the charge followed by goalies and dragging slowly behind is defensemen. At the moment, the Jackets have just three defensemen playing in the CHL (one is signed and off to Springfield next year) and three playing in Springfield. And then there’s the elephant in the room – Mike Reilly.

I’m basing this post on the…sigh, expected result that Reilly won’t sign with the CBJ. I know an article came out with Mike making it sound like he wants to finish school but I don’t believe that, (it’s Minnesota, not Harvard). But no matter what Mike does, my opinion doesn’t change about the draft focus. Let’s take a look at what the Jackets currently have.

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Three Stars: CBJ @ NYR

Posted by The Coach on April 07, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Game Discussion / No Comments

The streak is dead, long live the streak. After setting the franchise record with nine consecutive wins, the Jackets fell 4-3 in overtime to the Rangers under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden tonight. Down 2-1 in the second period, goals from Marko Dano late in the period and Brandon Dubinsky near the midpoint of the third had the Jackets looking like they would bring that streak into double digits. Alas, it was not to be, as Derek Stepan tied the game up with 27.5 seconds left, before icing it in overtime. The Jackets streak now sits at an uber-exciting OT 1.

3rd Star: Chris Kreider

2nd Star: Henrik Lundqvist

1st Star: Derek Stepan

Really New York media person who picked the stars? All three of them? I get Stepan. Dude scored the game tying and winning goals, picked up an assist earlier, and threw six pucks on net. That has first star written all over it. I can even buy Lundvist. He didn’t have great numbers in this game (gave up three goals, made 29 saves, for a .906 save percentage), but he absolutely kept the Rangers in it during a few stretches where the Jackets had some excellent sustained pressure. But then they added in Kreider. Who was perfectly fine. But no way in hell should all three stars go to the Rangers when the Jackets were under 30 seconds from a win in regulation. No way when Sergei Bobrovsky drops 38 saves, including a number of highlight worthy efforts. I get that there wasn’t another Jacket that was probably worthy of a star based on their boxcar numbers, but Bob was so much better in this game than Kreider it’s crazy.

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March 30-Apr 5th CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on April 06, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Greetings, all! Time for another week in the world of Blue Jackets prospects…and by “world” I mean Springfield, Massachusetts as we’ll be focusing on the Falcons with other prospects’ seasons wrapping up.

The Falcons finished off its home schedule but started off the week in Bridgeport in a game I bet some players thought was an April Fool’s joke, “an 11am game on April Fools? Ok, coach you got us.” After a scoreless first, the Tigers scored in the second before Falcons’ captain, Ryan Craig, finally got the team on the board picking up the rebound of a Sean Collins shot. The goal continued Craig’s tear of late – He’s picked up four points in his last five games.

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Three Stars: PIT @ CBJ

Posted by DerDrache on April 04, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

 

It’s tough to disagree with Steve Mears’ assessment. The Jackets are winning quality games against good opponents and will finish the season series 3-1 against the division rival Pittsburgh Penguins.

It would have been pretty easy to get discouraged with the start of tonight’s game as the Penguins clearly dictated the pace of play and possession early with very little pushback from the CBJ. With less than 4 minutes left in the 2nd period, Foligno was able to break open the Blue Jackets’ scoring and before the period was over, the game would be tied with a very Matt Calvert-esque goal by none other than Matt Calvert. The Jackets were able to pull ahead to 4-2 with half of the 3rd frame to play to create some distance between themselves and the Pens. A Ben Lovejoy goal brought the Pens within 1 goal but Nick Foligno completed notched his first career hat trick with an empty netter. Continue reading…

Three Stars: CBJ vs. NYI

Posted by The Coach on April 03, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The Jackets pulled off a thrilling comeback 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting New York Islanders tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky was shakier than usual, and the Jackets came out slow in all three periods, but a furious final frame and overtime helped them over come it. Down 3-1 in the third, Jack Johnson and Ryan Johansen scored to send the game to extra time. A questionable late delay of game penalty led an Islanders penalty to close out regulation. The Jackets managed to get a man advantage opportunity in overtime, but were unable to cash in. Mark Letestu and Johansen scored in the shootout, and Bobrovksy made two stops as the Jackets won their franchise record 8th straight game. It’s been a fun ride the last month, unfortunately it’s too little too late. On to the stars.

3rd Star: Brandon Dubinsky

So glad to have Dubinsky back in my life. I just love watching him play. If you just watch Dubinsky during a shift, you will see a guy always in the right spot, always moving to where he should be, always making the proper play. He’s like the reverse-Jack Johnson. Dubinsky tipped in a Dalton Prout shot in the first period to tie the game at 1, and played 19:55 of his usual solid play, even drawing the overtime powerplay.
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March 23-29 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on April 02, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Greetings all! Sorry for the delay, but a weekend trip to St Louis for the CBJ game happened. This is the part of the year when my recaps get smaller as I like to wait until the end of the first round of each playoff round before recapping how our prospects did.

Starting off in Springfield as we do, Monday was moving day – Sonny Milano was assigned to the Falcons and the team also announced moves involving six players either being assigned to the ECHL, being released from their PTO or being signed to one. It was originally announced that Sonny would have to wait a week (injury) before making his debut but fans began tweeting me that that Sonny was in warmups Friday. Turns out that Sonny did play and it wouldn’t take long for him to make an impact. 4:43 into the first, with Sonny behind the net, he found Luke Adam in front for a one timer to make it 1-0. Just under two minutes later, Ryan Craig made some history scoring his 91st goal with the franchise making him the all-time leader, passing Jean-Guy Trudel. The goal came when Craig deflected a Hubert Labrie point shot. After that, the Falcons allowed four straight goals including one in the second. Quickly, if you want to know how bad things have been in Springfield, the two goals in the first was the first time the Falcons had done this since February 28th which marks a streak of nine games. After the four goals, Sean Collins picked up a rebound to make it 4-3. The Falcons allowed two third period goals to fall 5-3.

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Three Stars: CBJ @ STL

Posted by DerDrache on March 28, 2015
Stars of the Night / No Comments

17 shots on goal. Short handed 6 times. Not the recipe for success or what I’m sure the Blue Jackets coaching staff and players had in mind for the evening but at the end of 60 minutes, the only stat that matters was in the Jackets’ favor: 4 goals for, 2 goals against. The Jackets hot streak continues.  Continue reading…

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