Ryan Johansen

Three Stars: CBJ @ CHI

Posted by The Coach on March 28, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Stars of the Night / No Comments

One of the most exciting first periods of the Jackets season led to a far less exciting (and bordering on uneventful) remainder of the game, and a 5-2 Jackets win over the Blackhawks in Chicago last night. During the first, the Jackets and Hawks combined for six goals (only an empty netter coming later), and 28 shots (of 60 total for the game). There were as many goals in the first period as there were noteworthy shots on goaltenders in the third (per the NHL’s little dashes on GameCenterLive). Anyway, despite the semi-lopsided looking score, the Blackhawks outshot the Jackets 33-27, and outshot-attempted them 58-39. This was primarily the result of a 5-1 powerplay advantage for the Hawks, but the Jackets’ much maligned penalty kill held strong. Sergei Bobrovsky was his usual wonderful self in making 31 saves in the win.

3rd Star: Johnny Oduya

He had two assists. Okay.
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Three Stars: ANA @ CBJ

Posted by DerDrache on March 24, 2015
Stars of the Night / No Comments

Is it plagiarism if you’re copying your own words? I’ll repeat it: can you imagine if this team could start? That first 20 minutes was rough to watch. Hartnell took the most Hartnell-ist of all penalties to give the Ducks their first of what would be many power play opportunities against the Jackets and Kesler and crew were able to capitalize. Like the rest of the team, Bob looked shaky to start and it wasn’t until after Cogliano’s 2nd goal that Bob really “locked it in” to steal a phrase from Bob McElligot’s post-game analysis. From the 2nd period forward, Bob was like a cat watching a laser pointer, never losing sight of the puck and had a an intensity that Blue Jackets fans have become accustomed to seeing when he’s truly at the top of his game. As much as it pains to me to acknowledge that there’s a role for fighting still in the NHL, it’s undeniable that Boll’s scrap with Clayton Stoner was a huge momentum swing and changed the entire complexion of the game. Instead of giving credit where it’s due, I’ll simply say that a better team wouldn’t have needed a fight to display the same tempo and tenacity we saw after that bout. Regardless, from there on, those in attendance and at home were treated to a physical, high scoring hockey game with some of everything. Let’s dig in to the stars: Continue reading…

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Three Stars: CBJ @ CGY

Posted by The Coach on March 21, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

Sergei Borovsky made 38 saves, and Rene Bourque scored twice against his former team to help the Blue Jackets take down the Flames 3-2 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. The Jackets were thoroughly outplayed for most of the game, getting outshot 40-26, and outshot-attempted 73-52. The Jackets welcomed Boone Jenner and Jeremy Morin back to the lineup from injury, although both were a little rusty and fairly quiet. Bobrovsky kept the game close until Artem Anisimov put together a fantastic effort to force a turnover by ex-Jacket Kris Russell, pick up the puck, and score a spinning, backhand goal to send the game to overtime. Bourque put the game away with his second goal of the game as the Jackets extended their winning streak to three games.

3rd Star: Sergei Bobrovsky

Really, what more can you say about Bobrovsky on the game-by-game level. His only negative in the macro is injuries. When healthy, he gives the Jackets a chance to win every game, whether they deserve it or not. Bob was the only reason they were still in this game after the second period. He was outstanding, is pretty much always outstanding, and is totally worth his contract extension. Look, you can find goalies, and Bob is the example of it. But the reason you can find goalies is the difficulty in evaluating them. That also makes it difficult to find a goalie who gives you a legitimate chance to win. Bob isn’t Steve Mason, who basically had a hot fifteen games his rookie year, followed by league average player (and worse after his rookie year). When you find a guy who will keep you in the game (basically) every time he players, and that guy is young enough to do this for the next half-decade, you lock him down. Think the Rangers have any regrets about keeping Henrik Lunqvist at a big cap figure? He was a 6th round pick, and the same kind of find that Bob was for the Jackets. The Rangers have been in contention for at least the playoffs every year he’s been healthy. Bob provides the same thing for the Jackets.

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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: 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: 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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Goal Breakdown: A Look at the Blue Jackets’ Powerplay

Posted by The Coach on January 23, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The Columbus Blue Jackets powerplay has been humming this season. They are currently sitting at 4th overall, scoring at a 24.3% clip. If they can keep that up, this would be the deadliest CBJ powerplay ever, as well as their top finish (records held by last years 11th place finish at 19.3%). So what has changed since last year? A lot. The personal hasn’t changed too much, but how they have been able to deploy that personnel has opened up more options, and allowed the powerplay to be more diverse. For all the things that RJ Umberger wasn’t good at, he was a pretty good net front presence on the powerplay. But that is Nick Foligno‘s job now, and he’s obviously flourished there. The other major components are Ryan JohansenJames WisniewskiJack Johnson, and the new member Scott Hartnell. It’s that last name that really opens up what the Jackets can do. Continue reading…

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Goal Breakdown: Good and Bad Foligno, Quick Passes, and Tropp Goes Many Places

Posted by The Coach on January 14, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The last few games have provided plenty of goals for and (mostly) against which to look at in further detail (21 goals against and 15 goals for in only five January games). I’m only going to break down two goals though, one against the Blue Jackets during their 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders, and the game winning goal by the CBJ against the Dallas Stars. Now let’s get down to business.
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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ TOR

Posted by DerDrache on January 09, 2015
Stars of the Night / No Comments

The Jackets wrapped up their road trip in the hockey hotbed of Toronto with a 2-2 record. Going .500 on a road trip would normally be just uninspiring but with as much ground as the CBJ have to make up and with their Metro Division rivals the Capitals and the Rangers performing as well as they have, collecting 4 of 8 possible points can only be considered a disappointment.

While there was reason for optimism early with Ryan Johansen scoring a great individual effort goal, it seemed like the good guys were determined to play tonight’s game on the highest difficulty setting by allowing the Maple Leafs to notch 4 goals in under 9 minutes of regulation play in the first, including an early demoralizing goal off of Cody Goloubef’s stick. The boys in blue seemed to turn it around a bit in the 2nd period by clamping down a bit more defensively and were downright impressive in the 3rd at times with their puck movement but ultimately couldn’t get out of the hole they’d dug themselves in the 1st 20 minutes of play. Tonight’s three stars of the night include: 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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