At the halfway point of the season I wrote about the second half expectations for the Blue Jackets. I looked at my preseason goal predictions for each player, then predicted how I thought they would perform over the second half of the season. Before I got to that point, I briefly discussed the team results. At the outset of the season, I had predicted a total of 128 goals scored on the season. I was off by a bit here, as they came in at only 120. However, I was off by the same amount in their goals against, as I had predicted they would come in at 127 goals allowed over the full 48 game season. Instead, they finished with 119 goals against. Excuse me for a second while I pat myself on the bat for exactly nailing their goal differential. In my preseason predictions, I hit another point that I think probably raised some eyebrows at the time: that the Jackets offense would actually improve with Rick Nash off in New York. And believe it or not it did (barely). The Jackets scored 120 goals this season, or the equivalent pace of 205 goals over 82 games. Not a great number, but better than the 202 goals the Jackets scored in 2011-12. Continue reading Looking Back to Look Back: Reviewing Preseason and Second Half Predictions
Is your pulse raised Columbus?
That team, that 5-12-2 mess, spiraling towards the dreaded basement in lieu of a Davidson fueled rebuild, is a figment of history. Twenty four games later, this new look, hard working, hair raising workhorse of a roster continues to get the job done, this time in the extra frame. Comparably, that makes their record 15-4-5
The victory against Colorado improves their win streak to four games, and betters their last ten result to 7-3-0. All this was done in front of a ‘claimed’ crowd of 13,694, although I think they may have been counting hot dogs sold over seats filled. Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ Colorado 4/15
Tough loss for the Blue Jackets last night. Tough loss indeed. With Columbus and St. Louis both coming off hard fought victories the night before, and flying into St. Louis late Thursday, the usual excuses for a road back to back just don’t apply. Fortunately, the Blue Jackets continued their run of showing up to play. They pretty much out everything-ed the Blues, from shots on goal (27 to 19) to faceoffs (33 to 26). Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. Jake Allen came up huge and David Backes scored a ridiculous game winning goal to get the Blues the 4 point win. It’s going to be tough sledding for the Jackets to make the playoffs (especially considering Detroit’s win later last night), but they aren’t done yet. Now onto the review of all three goals (yes, three). Continue reading Goal Breakdowns @ St. Louis 4/5
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!
With their 2-1 victory over the Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets finally clawed their way into sole possession of a playoff spot. The Jackets managed to survive a horrendous 3rd period, where they were outshot 17-1, to force overtime. It was there that Mark Letestu capped off a two point night with the game winner. After a slow first two periods, the Ducks turned on the jets in the 3rd, keeping the Blue Jackets on their heels, with only Sergei Bobrovsky carrying his weight. With 29 saves last night, Bobrovsky finished March with incredible numbers: 9-2-3 record, .950 save percentage, 1.49 goals against average, and three shutouts.
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.
Well, it had to happen some time. Last night we saw the boys in union blue turn in a lackluster performance in Nashville and end their franchise record 12-game point streak. Bizarrely, after setting a new record for 3 goals in just over a minute’s time the previous night, the Jackets were on the receiving end of a “blink and you missed it” scoring flurry that put the game away early in the first period.
The game seemed to start ok. The team looked slow but there was no cause for panic when Taylor Beck scored his (you guessed it) first career goal against Bobrovsky in net. Then Shea Weber scored. RJ Umberger would knock in an ugly ugly goal to get Columbus on the board but then Legwand would net one against us followed by a Matt Halischuck score and it was time to panic. The Jackets were down by three goals thanks to a shaky performance from Bob and absolutely abysmal play by our defense.
The Blue Jackets took to the ice Friday night in an attempt to extend their franchise record-breaking streak of consecutive games with a point to twelve games. It is hard to believe that this streak began nearly a month ago to the day when we were facing the tail of two incredibly tight losses to St Louis and Chicago that put the team record at 5-12-2, yet as the game began this evening, that momentum that has seemed to carry through this month was palpable.
A major contributor to their streak has been the penalty kill, slowly improving throughout and now resting in 3rd place amongst the other 30 National Hockey League teams. This penalty kill has been spotless in fourteen of their last fifteen games (including this evening), a combined total of 34 out of 35 or 97.14%. A combination of stymy defensive work along with high end goaltending have made this streak possible, and I personally believe it helps to provide this team with the confidence needed to play their game at even strength.
The Blue Jackets finished off a nailbiter last night, downing the Nashville Predators 4-3 to extend their point streak to 11 games. The Jackets, who have gone 7-0-4 over that streak, have now played in twenty-one 1 goal games. Sergei Bobrovsky was his usual excellent self, making 32 saves in the win, including 13 in the 3rd period where the Jackets were outshot 15-7 by the Preds. One more stat of note before I get to the goal breakdowns: Brandon Dubinsky won 16 of the 18 faceoffs he took last night, helping the Blue Jackets finish with 61% of the faceoff wins. Now on to the breakdowns.