The hope for the playoffs continues! Columbus continued the dream run by defeating the San Jose Sharks Sunday for a crucial two points, moving them into a tie (in points) for 7th in the West, with only two games remaining in their season. Generally this waits for the bottom end of the game review, but I think it’s important to show just where Columbus stands as they head to Dallas in another absolutely crucial game:
7 – Minnesota – 51 points – 3 games remaining
8 – Columbus – 51 points – 2 games remaining
9 – Detroit – 48 points – 4 games remaining
10 – Dallas – 48 points – 3 games remaining
11 – Phoenix – 46 points – 4 games remaining
As you can see, Columbus will likely need all four of their remaining possible points in order to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs, with games against Dallas on Thursday and the ever resilient Nashville Predators to close out their season at home. If they can manage to achieve both wins, they will sit at 55 points, forcing Detroit to win all four remaining games in order to vault them over Columbus into 8th place.
Continue reading Game Recap: Columbus @ San Jose 4/21
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
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.
Continue reading Game Recap: St. Louis @ Columbus 4/12
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
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.
Continue reading Goal Breakdowns vs. Anaheim 3/31
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.
Continue reading Game Recap – Columbus @ Calgary 3/29
Well folks, you knew it would happen some time. Last night the Canucks returned to town and ended the Blue Jackets’ 5 game win streak although the boys in union blue were able to keep their point streak alive. Overall the game difference came down to a slow first period and the fact that this team still has some talent gaps that are the difference between good and great. Well and there were some questionable calls. So on to the recap.
Continue reading Game Recap: Vancouver @ Columbus, 3/12
Last night the Blue Jackets took down the Red Wings 3-0, clinching the season series against Detroit for the first time in franchise history. Also making history was Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 30 saves for his first career shutout. I was watching the game on the Detroit feed, and was shocked to hear how impressed the Wings announcers were with this Blue Jackets squad. It’s tough sometimes when you watch one team so much more than any other to keep perspective. The Wings announcers were very enthusiastic about Sergei Bobrovsky (calling him the best goalie in the NHL so far this month), talking about how they were the hardest working team the Wings have faced, and saying it looked like the Jackets were dominating the Wings like how the Wings have the Jackets for years. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Jackets goals from last night.
Continue reading Goal Breakdowns vs. Detroit 3/9
We’re officially at the halfway point, so I thought I would take a look back at my preseason individual goal predictions, the team predictions, and what to expect moving forward. First things first, lets start off with the team totals. My predictions had them finishing with a +2 goal differential over 82 games (or about +1 for 48 games), if they could raise their team save percentage from .903 to .910. Unfortunately, they are currently sitting at a -15 goal differential. The problem here hasn’t been just scoring or defense. I had them at 64 goals through 24 games and they are only 9 goals below that. On the defensive side, improvement was dependent upon raising the save percentage from .903 to .910, but it has actually dropped to .902. A jump to .910 would have reduced the first half goals against by 8. Aside from the predictions, the team has greatly improved so far this season. With league average shooting percentage and save percentage, the Jackets would be at a -6 goal differential (based on 60 goals for and 66 goals against). The Blue Jackets -60 full season goal differential from last year equates to a -17 over 24 games. For some perspective a -6 goal differential would tie them with Nashville, while a -17 would tie them with Edmonton.
Continue reading Second Half Expectations – Looking Back to Look Forward