This game recap was supposed to be all about the triumphant return of Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert to an otherwise depleted CBJ roster. Instead it’s going to be about unforced errors, ugly turnovers and an abysmal defense. In fairness, I had tempered my expectations for Jenner and Calvert as it always takes a little while for any player on the shelf to regain their rhythm but nothing could have prepared me for the degrees which which the squad on the ice tonight were each marching to the beat of their own drummer. While some are eager to hang this loss on McElhinney, they’re wrong to do so. When your defense allows a bottom-dwelling team like the Hurricanes to put 36 shots on net (18 in the first 20 minutes alone) without any sort of pushback you’re in for a long night. Was Curtis McElhinney a superstar tonight? Not by any means but any time your backup can go .917 for you in an evening, he’s doing his job: keeping your skaters in the game and giving them an opportunity to win. Going 37% in the face-off circle and allowing a short-handed goal? You don’t get to scapegoat the goalie. Sorry all. On to the stars of the evening: Continue reading…
Greetings again, all! It’s time for your weekly update on the future Jackets with this being our first update with everyone playing games that matter.
Starting off in Springfield as we usually do, the Falcons opened with a rescheduled game (a rare moved forward game) against Albany. 1:10 into the game the Captain Ryan Craig skated in on the side firing a shot to make it 1-0. Six minutes later Craig would strike again, but on the opposite side, when a Devils player had a shorthanded breakaway but could not control the puck. TJ Tynan was able to corral it and started a two on one with Craig finishing. Sadly, the Devils would score four straight to make it 4-2. Oscar Dansk made 13 saves in the loss.
Up next the Falcons faced the baby Bruins who, with ex-Falcons goalie Jeremy Smith, entered the game with a 153:08 shutout streak. After giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead Jerry D’Amigo scored his first of the season when he potted one from the right circle. Ryan Craig and Kerby Rychel got the assists. Scott Munroe made 16 saves in the 3-1 loss.
To close out the week it was off to Bridgeport for a game with the Sound Tigers. In the 4-3 victory, Dana Tyrell scored two goals in a game that saw Kerby Rychel earning his first multi -oint game as a pro. Corey Cowick and Jerry D’Amigo scored the Falcons other goals. Frederic St Denis and Thomas Larkin were the only other CBJ signed players to pick up points. In the 4-3 win, Dansk made 26 saves.
Well that game was basically a moral victory. The Jackets lost 3-2, and took zero points home, but they played hard, never gave up, and were in it right up until the last seconds. The Jackets ended up outshooting the Devils 34-29, and the possession stats can go either way, as the Devils had a slight edge in Corsi, while the Jackets had a slight edge in Fenwick (thanks to the CBJ blocking 15 Devil’s shots). Anton Forsberg was very solid in his first start, with two goals coming on screened shots, and one coming on a goal-mouth scramble. He gave them a chance to win, which is really all you can ask for from a rookie minor leaguer. In addition to Forsberg, I’d count another eight Jackets who could arguably be out of the lineup were the Jackets to actually be completely healthy. With all that considered, I’m pretty pleased with the effort the Jackets put forward tonight, the way they played the game (conservative, limit their own mistakes), and actually having a chance to win. Until they start getting some bodies back, I’m not expecting them to beat any decent team (and Jersey is decent), but would just like to see them make the games competitive..
3rd Star: Nick Foligno
What more can be said about Nick Foligno. I hate using words like manly and ballsy, as they are subtly ridiculously sexist. I’m having trouble coming up with a better way to describe Foligno’s performance tonight though. I was really not expecting him to play this game, and he took a shot off the head as well, and no one would have blamed him for not coming back. Instead, he not only barely missed any time, he played 18:17 of solid hockey (fourth among CBJ forwards). I thought the Ryan Johansen, Cam Atkinson, Scott Hartnell line was fantastic tonight (combined 15 shots on goal), but Foligno was easily the best player other than them. Continue reading…
Well. What really can be said. The Blue Jackets are fielding a patched together roster of NHL players, hopefuls and wannabe’s and each group is being asked to play perhaps a bit more than it’s used to…so you end up with what we saw. Lackluster results, turnovers, miscommunication and errant passing and a loss. You gotta feel for these guys, but the NHL schedule doesn’t care what’s going on in your locker room or on your roster – play continues. So onward we go. Let’s look at the three stars as designated by the NHL:
Welcome to this week’s installment of Goal Breakdowns where I go over a couple of goals for and against from the last week of action for the Columfied Blue Falcons. Errrr Columbus Blue Jackets. Sorry, with all those Springfield Falcons in the lineup, I get confused sometimes. As it stands right now, the Jackets are looking to be without their starting goalie, their top scoring defenseman, and seven of their top ten forwards. The likely second line for next game is Marko Dano, Alexander Wennberg, and Jack Skille. That would probably be the Falcons top line should everyone somehow manage to get healthy. Let’s all hope guys start getting better, and that Scott Hartnell, Ryan Johansen, and Cam Atkinson (who could very easily have stayed out of the lineup after skatefacegate) keep up their torrid starts. This week I’m going to cover a few goals very quickly, both for and against, and go a little deeper into two others. Let’s get to it.
The Jackets dropped another depressing tilt against the Ottawa Senators, 5-2. I don’t know what’s sadder: the expectation of an uncompetitive loss or the expectation of an important player succumbing to injury. As I type this, the Jackets released a report saying Wiz could be gone for 1-2 weeks with a broken finger, and that Artem Anisimov will be “evaluated” tomorrow. (Whatever that means, though at this point I’m assuming it means the absolute worst.)
The way I see it…the current swath of players lost to injury this early in the season could be a blessing. Over the last couple of seasons the Jackets have been known to put together a tremendous start and then suddenly fall off. Perhaps this stretch of rough play and rough luck is happening sooner rather than later? Perhaps in 3 months we’ll all look back and laugh at the sleep lost over the beginning 10 or so games. I mean, Wizniewski is always good for a broken *something* every year, right? Continue reading…
Greetings all! Ttime again for another week in review of the future Jackets. Let’s get the ugly out of the way first. The Falcons took on the baby Penguins and the Pens picked up a 5-0 win with Oscar Dansk getting the start, stopping 31 of 36 in the loss. Up next against Norfolk,the Falcons won the game 6-3 with several prospects having big nights. Kerby Rychel got the game going when he got into a fight with Nick Kerdiles. Kerby also earned an additional minor. Corey Cowick opened the scoring and Thomas Larkin earned his first point of the night. Brian Gibbons scored the team’s second goal and also assisted on Domenic Monardo‘s team leading fourth goal of the season. After Brandon Yip scored for the Admirals, Larkin scored his first goal since the 2012-13 season. Brad Winchester scored before Ryan Craig added to his great Falcons career with his 80th goal for the team. That puts him at fourth all time. Joseph Camarossa scored before Kerby Rychel notched his first pro goal on an empty netter with 29 seconds left. Scott Munroe made 18 saves in the win. Thomas Larkin’s three point night gave him a new career high in points in a season.
To close out the three in three weekend, the Falcons would again play the Syracuse Crunch (third time in seven games so far). In the 5-1 win, Austin Madaisky, TJ Tynan and Sean Collins scored their first of the season with Josh Anderson picking up his first pro point on an assist on Tynan’s goal (also Tynan’s first pro goal). Kerby Rychel scored his first pro goal where a goalie in the net. In the 5-1 win, Oscar Dansk stopped 36 of 37 making the game his first pro win and he received the first star honor for his efforts.
Two thirds of the way through this game my mind was full of hockey thoughts…I had things all worked out in my head – yay Ryan Murray (please don’t get hurt), look at the team battling with 7 D and 11 F (please don’t get hurt), hey Letestu nice goal – we might do this (please don’t get hurt). And then Nick Foligno was injured in a freak accident where, while battling for the puck with Jeff Carter, his head collided with the hind shank of the linesman. After lying motionless on the ice, Foligno was stretchered off and was seen waving to the crowd. Later it was a relief to hear that per the Blue Jackets twitter, and via Jeff Rimer relating an update from President of Hockey Operations, John Davidson, that Foligno was not taken to a hospital and was having x-rays at the Staples Center. JD said that Foligno will be fine.
We’ll get to the three stars in a second but let’s make a few things clear first. (1) The injury to Foligno was not. Jeff. Carter’s. Fault. I’m a lot more ticked off he scored a goal against the Jackets then for what he did on that play. (2) Look at the linesman – his position (completely coincidental) is what causes the injury (3) We do not know if/when word of Foligno’s health update got to the team on the bench…and / or if it ever got to Bob who sits in net (obviously). Nick is a beloved member of this team – you have to believe seeing your teammate go down like that surely will rattle you. Before that injury, I was really invested on the outcome of the game, after the injury – honestly – not so much. Did it impact the team? Look at that long flatline in the third…and the impact on shooting rate after. You have to believe it did.
Well that was ugly. As I tweeted earlier, the Blue Jackets looked like an Eastern Conference team who had just played San Jose the previous night. For every stride our skaters took, the Ducks took two. Truly a disappointing performance for nearly everyone on the ice. While I’d love to pump up Hartnell’s performance for netting his first goal of the campaign and seemingly being the only Jacket that knew where to send the puck (5 shots out of the Jackets’ 17) he gave me a few genuine “what was he thinking” moments such as the tripping call in the 3rd period. I’m not entirely sure I’d even call it tripping but when you leave your feet in an attempt to hit someone who no longer possesses the puck, get ready for a 2 minute timeout. The most disappointing aspect of the game was that we never really tested a shaky-looking Gibson. While I don’t think he came into this game obsessing over his so far unimpressive numbers, he clearly didn’t seem to develop a rhythm until late in the game. I can’t help but feel if we’d have thrown some more garbage at him, we could have snuck in a dirty goal or two. Enough complaining let’s see who the NHL dubbed the three stars of this mess:
Well that was a game. Maybe not the prettiest win in the world, but a win is a win, and a nice way to start off a west coast road trip. The Jackets looked like they were going to get blown out, getting dominated by the Sharks in the first period, and looking like the weaker squad through the first half of the second. Strangely, once the Jackets took the lead, they also took control of the game for a while. Another slow start at the beginning of the third period setup a pretty wild final frame. Joe Pavelski tied it up, then Cody Goloubef committed one of the worst turnovers I’ve ever seen (how do you not take a look there) to Logan Couture who buried the go ahead goal. The Sharks seemed to take control of the game for the next few minutes until the Jackets managed to get some sustained pressure, drew a penalty, and then tied it up on the powerplay. Then the final minute and a half happened. Ryan Johansen scored a hat trick, let’s get that straight. The refs straight up blew that call. Nick Foligno was pushed into the crease, barely made contact with Niemi, then was out of the way of the goaltender when the shot was taken. Had he not been pushed in, or had he been making contact with Niemi still when the shot was fired, I’d have no issue with that call. But it was Joe Thornton interfering with Niemi, not Foligno. Fortunately, Mark Letestu let the refs off the hook a minute later with the game winner.
3rd Star: Mark Letestu
Two goals, including the game winner, 54% on faceoffs, a game high +10 corsi, and some damn fine penalty killing. That’s more than enough for the third star. Let’s backtrack to his first goal though. Holy what a pass by Artem Anisimov. Just a beautiful saucer pass right where it needed to be. Letestu had a nice finish on that one as well.