Curtis McElhinney

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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Three Stars and Game in One Picture – CBJ @ EDM

Posted by The Coach on March 19, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The Blue Jackets took down the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout in the wee hours of the morning. Well maybe not the wee hours. I might just be getting old. Also, I’ve used “wee” in three consecutive sentences now. Clearly I am tired and punchy. Anyway, the Jackets and Oilers at least put on an entertaining show, combining for 67 shots (47-20 in favor of Edmonton), a few highlight reel goals in regulation, and nice shootout markers from Ryan Johansen and Alexander Wennberg to finish it off.

3rd Star: Ryan Nugent Hopkins

Sure. Scored his 20th of the season, marking the first time he’s done that. Good on the kid. He still looks like a stick in skates out there though.
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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: NJD vs. CBJ

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

Given that tonight was a division matchup late in the season by two teams separated by only a few points, the narrative could have been one of excitement and playoff implications. That was not the case in Nationwide Arena this final chilly evening in February. Both the Jackets and the Devils are at less than 0.3% chance of making the playoffs and for the injury riddled Blue Jackets the hits keep coming. Matt Calvert and Brandon Dubinsky are now each out indefinitely with concussions. For this fan, the story of the night was what would we see out of newly acquired David Clarkson? Did he factor into the three stars of the game? Let’s see below. Continue reading…

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ vs LAK

Posted by The Coach on February 09, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

If you only saw the opening and closing of the Jackets 4-3 loss to the Kings tonight, you might think they played a pretty good game. You’d be wrong. Despite a strong opening couple minutes, halfway through the third period this looked like one of the Jackets worst games of the season. Fortunately they picked it up, David Savard scored late, and they made an exciting game of it by the end. But man were those middle 48 minutes atrocious. Just embarassingly terrible. They were clearly not in the game tonight. They twice gave up a goal immediately after scoring one themselves. This isn’t a loss to be blamed on injuries, like many this year. This game was about one team clearly outworking the other. The scoreboard may look close, but the 44-26 shot differential tells a clearer tale, especially when you consider the Jackets picked up the final four shots of the game, and outshot the Kings 12-8 over the final ten minutes (in other words the shots were 36-14 with 10 minutes left).

3rd Star: Scott Hartnell

Many congratulations to Hartnell on his 1000th career game, and his goal was a beauty.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ OTT

Posted by The Coach on February 07, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The ultimate deceiving score game. A glance at just the score makes it look like the Jackets won this one handily against the Ottawa Senators 4-1, but an empty net goal and a post ENG goal made a super tight game look more lopsided. Even though the game was deadlocked at zero through two periods, it was a superb back-and-forth affair with some serious ebbs and flows. After the Jackets took the lead in the third period, the Senators pressed like crazy until Nick Foligno‘s goal gave the Jackets a two goal lead. That Sens continued to buzz, and managed to bring the game to within a goal, but Curtis McElhinney and company were able to hold them off until Scott Hartnell could bury the empty netter and Mark Letestu could bring it home with a rare post-empty net goal.

3rd Star: Nick Foligno

I was watching the Ottawa feed of the game, and boy do they love them some Foligno. He was a monster though, and that goal, just wow. He was very good all game, but he deserves a star just for his effort that ended up as the game winner.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: STL @ CBJ

Posted by Staff on February 07, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

One of the final teams for the Jackets to face this season came to town tonight and the Jackets played a full 60 to beat the St. Louis Blues 7-1. I mean good gracious, it was 5-1 after two periods! This was the type of play fans have been waiting to see – and that was something Nick Foligno recognized in his first star comments post-game. So speaking of that, let’s get on with it and name check the three stars of the night as named by NHL.com:

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ BOS

Posted by DerDrache on January 17, 2015
Stars of the Night / No Comments

After what I considered to be a great game against the Rangers in Columbus I was curious to see how the Jackets would respond to not being rewarded with 2 points for their efforts. They did exactly what they needed to do in Boston tonight. Not only did they play well but they played very disciplined hockey and were able to open the scoring with a gorgeous power play snipe from Johansen. Continue reading…

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ COL

Posted by The Coach on January 05, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Stars of the Night / No Comments

The start of this game had me battling semantics. You could probably slice the “start” in three ways. In one way, it was pretty good. The Jackets got a good jump off the opening draw, forced the Avalanche back into their own end, who ended up icing it. That’s a pretty solid way to start off the first faceoff of the game. Another way you can slice it, is to look at the first period. That first period is probably the most dominant period the Jackets have put together this season. It was a master work of Blue Jackets hockey, keeping Colorado in their own ice nearly the entire frame. The Avs took their second shot of the game 1:07 in, yet didn’t pick up their third until their was only 2:29 left in the period. That is astounding. Now there is also a third way you can slice it, and that incorporates the first thirty seconds or so, and one of the worst passes you will ever see a professional hockey player make. David Savard clearly just didn’t see Jarome Iginla until it was too late. But it’s not like he was hiding or anything, he was right there, just above the spot where Savard was planning on passing the puck, with nothing but empty ice before the Jackets net. That was a bad bad bad bad bad play. Fortunately, that play (and a later Savard miscue) didn’t bury the Jackets, and Savard was able to play the hero, scoring the go-ahead 58:59 into the game. This gave the Jackets a 4-3 win, and brought them back up to .500 again after last night’s abysmal game against the Phoenizona Coyotes.

3rd Star: Brandon Dubinsky

There are many sounds to hockey that I love. The first cuts of a skate on a fresh sheet of ice ALWAYS brings a smile to my face. It’s tough to describe the feeling that sound generates. Sometimes, when I haven’t played in awhile, it can literally take my breath away. But it’s also like seeing an old friend, and knowing that nothing has really changed. That is the first sound I think of when I think of hockey. The second is the ping of the post. The post is like an instrument, and can generate multiple sounds depending on how you play it. You hit it dead on, you hear an almost ‘thongggg’ sound, as you hear the hollow of the post. Terrible sound. Makes me grit my teeth, like nails on a chalkboard. Hit it at a right angle and you get a deeper ‘ping’, like Ryan Johansen‘s shot with six minutes left in the game. I hate that sound too. It’s the sound of failure. Even though you beat the goalie, you know the puck is not going in when you hear that sound. Then there is the fainter ‘ping’ when you go bar-down (or post-in). It’s a glorious sound. It’s the purest goal you can score. It means you beat the goalie (obviously), but you put the puck in a spot where it almost didn’t go in either. It’s the Odell Beckham-style one-handed catch of hockey. Anything further the other direction, and you are hearing one of the other post sounds. Such a glorious sound. What does this have to do with Dubinsky? Well just go listen to his second goal again.

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Goal Breakdown: Johansen Finds Some Space, and a Few Things Not To Do

Posted by The Coach on October 22, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

Welcome to the second Goal Breakdown of the season. I mentioned it at the top of the last post, but I will do it again here. This year I will be putting out a Goal Breakdown every Wednesday night, generally featuring one goal for the Jackets and one goal against, that will go through the nitty gritty of what made that goal happen for the Jackets (good or bad). Last week’s Goal Breakdown post featured Cam Atkinson‘s goal against the Sabres, and Rick Nash’s goal during the Rangers game. This week will see a slight tweak, with all three goals against the Senators being quickly discussed, and a deeper look at Ryan Johansen‘s goal versus the Flames. Continue reading…

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The Coach’s Offseason Thoughts (So Far)

Posted by The Coach on June 30, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Roster Talk / 1 Comment

I had the majority of a post put together for an offseason game plan post featuring all the moves I wanted to see the Jackets make. I’d figured out reasonable cap hits for the guys I wanted to be signed, figured out a nice trade or two that made sense, and wrote a nice long paragraph about how no one in their right mind would deal anything of value for RJ Umberger. Then it all got blown to hell. It came out that Jason Spezza had Columbus on his no trade list (I had him as a trade target), Nikita Nikitin was dealt to the Oilers, and Umberger was somehow traded for Scott Hartnell. In my opinion, those moves took care of a lot of what the Jackets needed to do this offseason. So instead of a post detailing everything I wanted to see, I figured I’d hit everything that has happened so far, and what I want to see happen the rest of the offseason. Continue reading…

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