The Selke goes out to the top defensive forward in the NHL. Usually this also carries with it the burden of being somewhat of an offensive player as well. Not so with the Blue Jackets nominees, as we nominated guys from the top of the lineup to the bottom (as it should be). Read on to see who this year’s Union Blue Selke winner is…
The tUB team was all over the place with the Masterton. We had eight players receiving a vote and only two players receiving multiple votes. This speaks to a few things, chief of which is no obvious Josh Harding-like candidate (the Wild netminder battling MS). But to me, it also shows that this is a team built around guys who are very dedicated to the game of hockey, with a number of players persevering through age, injury, doubt, or just losing. This is a resilient bunch, and there were a number of very worthy candidates who didn’t even get a vote (Jack Johnson, Adrian Aucoin, and Cam Atkinson come to mind). However, we did manage to choose a victor…. Continue reading 2013 tUB Awards: The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Earlier this morning, news out of twitter suggested that the tenacious young forward Matt Calvert received a two year contract. He was scheduled to be an RFA this summer, and while his efforts in a Blue Jackets uniform over the last couple seasons can be easily compared to a roller coaster ride, his play of late justified a solid pay day. Here’s the first I saw of it, and a kudos to Rob Kunz over at 10TV for the retweet:
@Rob10TVSports: RT @RenLavoieRDS: Matt Calvert signed a contract extension with Blue Jackets. 2 years / $1 975 000 total. One way contract. #RDS #CBJ Continue reading Matt Calvert Re-Signed for Two Years
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.
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
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.
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
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.
It’s that time again! Trade deadline! The Blue Jackets have provided us such a whirlwind of a March that no one seems to know for sure if Jarmo and JD shall be buyers, sellers or standard bearers at the close Wednesday’s activities. With that in mind, all of us at the Union Blue decided to have a little fun. We challenged ourselves to each come up with the top three players we would keep, and the top three players we would deal. There were a few guidelines:
1. Only players who have dressed for the Blue Jackets team this season are eligible for consideration
2. Sergei Bobrovsky is excluded from consideration (given his quality play lately, we figured we’d all pick him anyway)
3. Players who have a no-movement or no-trade clause are still eligible for our lists, but the designation should be noted with an “NMC” or “NTC”.
So welcome to a little time inside our brains. Remember, this is what we want to happen, not what we think will happen…read along, see if you agree with any of us, or sound off in the comments as to why we might just be crazy. We’ll be watching…we may have some off-side wagers involved as well!
The Blue Jackets wrapped up a Canadian tour last night in Calgary and both fan bases were curious to see what team would show up for their side. Columbus was looking to finally get a regulation win on the road with back-up Steve Mason in net, and Flames faithful were curious to see how their team would respond in their first outing since Jerome Iginla was traded.
Right off the bat, my new favorite line of 11-42-13 was buzzing – creating some opportunities and providing some sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Cam Atkinson had a beautiful opportunity off a pass from Matt Calvert that he just couldn’t convert. But this energy set the tone for the arrival of the other lines on ice. While on the PK, Mark Letestu buried a short-handed goal to put the Jackets up 1-0. Shortly after, Dalton Prout and Tim Jackman engaged in a bout at middle ice that Prout won soundly and certainly brought many cheers from the group of friends I was with game-watching. Prouter certainly seems to be impressing in his time up with the big club and the long term defensive picture got a little more cloudy for all the right reasons as another quality candidate is showing us he’s here to play.