January 19-February 1 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

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

Greetings all – I’m back again and trying to get back on our regular schedule of Monday updates. We skipped last week with the All-Star festivities, so since we have two weeks to get through lets get on it (fair warning – it’s a long one).

Starting off in Springfield as we always do, the Falcons had two more games before taking time off for the All Star Game. Friday night it was off to Hartford for a game with the Wolfpack. Michael Chaput opened the scoring off the rebound of a Frederic St Denis point shot to make it 1-0. The Pack tied it early in the second before Kerby Rychel fired a shot just above the circle to make it 2-1 with his 11th of the season. The third period went a lot like the second with the Pack scoring early before Kerby scored again. Kerby got his next goal off a deflection of a St Denis keep in/point shot. The Pack scored two goals in a 1:02 span to clinch the 4-3 victory with goon/my favorite target of ridicule Dylan McIlrath scoring the game winner. In the 4-3 loss Anton Forsberg made 24 saves.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ TPA

Posted by DerDrache on January 31, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Stars of the Night / No Comments

The Blue Jackets entered Tampa to face a team that has only surrendered four regulation losses at home this season and whose 66 points are only one shy of the lead for the Eastern Conference. The CBJ played very well to begin the game by controlling puck possession and generating some good scoring chances early. They ran into some penalty problems in the 2nd period but the PK unit and Curtis McElhinney played admirably to keep the game competitive. Unfortunately the Lightning struck in quick succession in the third (only 1:41 apart) and you could see that that the 3rd goal was as deflating as a New England equipment assistant. Head Coach Todd Richards pulled McElhinney with 4 minutes to go and Ryan Johansen was able to net his 19th of the year but that would be the only goal scored by the good guys. Tonight’s three stars according to NHL.com:

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ FLA

Posted by The Coach on January 30, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Stars of the Night / No Comments

Technical difficulties led to this review not getting posted until later than planned. Wait, that sounds a lot like the Columbus Blue Jackets. Injuries are to people, as WiFi issues are to computers (more or less). This team has so many pieces I like, but just can’t seem to get them together at one time. Artem Anisimov  returned to the lineup in last nights 3-2 loss in Florida to the Panthers, but the only star from the Blue Jackets tells the story.

Third Star: Curtis McElhinney

I’ve written probably 10,000 words on him by this point, most of them not particularly flattering. He was a very good minor league goalie, but at the NHL level he just can’t quite cut it. He was the third star last night, after picking up 28 saves on 31 shot attempts. That isn’t terrible, but it equates to a .903 save percentage, slightly below his .906 for the season. This season 57 goalies have played at least 10 games. A .903 save percentage would rank 44th, with his .906 putting McElhinney at 38th. These are the numbers of an average backup goaltender. The kind of guy you are okay playing ten games a year while your workhorse plays the rest. McElhinney’s 38th place ranking is a little disingenious, as most of the guys behind him are also backup goalies, so while he may be near the median in terms of save percentage, he’s a long way off from the average. McElhinney’s played 17 games this year, and I would be shocked if he finishes with less than 30. If a backup goalie is going to play that many games, he needs to be better than an average backup. The difference between a 72-10 split and a 52-30 with a .930 starter and a .906 backup is 15 goals. That may not sound like a lot, but it probably turns six or seven wins into losses and a few regulation wins into shootout or OT wins. Removing ten regulation wins (and the 20 points that come with that) into ten points (say three shootout/OT wins, four shootout/OT losses, and three regulation losses) is a big difference.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: WAS @ CBJ

Posted by Staff on January 28, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Game Discussion / No Comments

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:

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The Real All-Stars

Posted by Staff on January 26, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / 1 Comment

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…

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Goal Breakdown: A Look at the Blue Jackets’ Powerplay

Posted by The Coach on January 23, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

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 JohansenJames WisniewskiJack Johnson, and the new member Scott Hartnell. It’s that last name that really opens up what the Jackets can do. Continue reading…

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ WPG

Posted by Brett Ireland on January 22, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

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.


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Photos from The Union Blue & BS Hockey Skate

Posted by DerDrache on January 21, 2015
Photos / No Comments

I just arrived home from an awesome skate/meet up at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Rink, part of the All Star Winter Park (presented by Worthington Industries) and man, what a great setup. It was great to see so many community members show up and even join us for a delicious dinner at Rodizio Grill. Enjoy the pictures below!

 

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Community Skate Details – Wednesday, January 21

Posted by Staff on January 20, 2015
CBJ Blog Community / No Comments

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t already heard, we are partnering with Buckeye State Hockey to provide you a full slate of events during All-Star Week! Tomorrow the fun begins with our community skate…here are some last minute details and information – we hope to see many of you there!

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ MIN

Posted by The Coach on January 20, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Stars of the Night / No Comments

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.
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