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Category: Columbus-Blue-Jackets

Evening Line- John Tortorella

After a 1-0 OT loss to Pittsburgh.

 

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Now Is The Time For The Columbus Blue Jackets To Make A Playoff Push

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Jackets won at least 45 games in each of the previous three seasons. The consensus three months ago, then, was that they had built something that was greater than the sum of their parts. As their hype video says, “From out of our blue, we rise.”

The new season is one-third gone now. The Jackets (11-12-4, 26 points) are in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Their 68 goals scored and minus-16 differential through 27 games put them among the most anemic teams in the league.

Old rule of thumb: The earlier a team can get into playoff position, the better. Over the previous six years, 74 of 96 teams in a playoff spot on Thanksgiving Day went on to clinch. On Thursday past, the Jackets were in seventh place in the wild-card standings. (Insert turkey joke here.)...

Although there is a lot of hockey yet to play, you will in the coming days get as good a gauge on these Jackets as you’re going to get. Remember all that talk about proving doubters wrong? About how the team would respond after losing Panarin, Bobrovsky, et al.? About how a strong locker room would coalesce in defiance? Now is the time.

The Jackets host Panarin and the New York Rangers on Thursday. The Jackets play at Florida on Saturday and will probably see Bobrovsky in net. The Jackets play the Ovechkins in Washington on Monday.

If they have an emotional response — if they rise — you will see what has largely been missing so far.

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Zach Werenski Out A Month With A Shoulder Injury

from the Columbus Blue Jackets,

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is expected to miss four weeks due to a shoulder injury suffered in the first period of last night's game at the New York Islanders, club General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Werenski, 22, leads all club defensemen in scoring this season with six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 26 games. His goal, assist and point totals rank third overall on the club. Columbus' first selection, eighth overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft, he has registered 44-100-144 with 56 penalty minutes and a cumulative +7 plus/minus rating in 263 career NHL games.

continued

Watch the injury below.

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Video- Nick Foligno Suspended Three Games

Elbowing.

 

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Extend 3-on-3 OT And Eliminate The Shootout?

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

The introduction of 3-on-3 overtime is arguably the NHL’s best rule tweak in a decade while the shootout seems so … 2005.

So when the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach started banging the drum this week about going to a longer overtime period and abolishing the skills competition entirely, he was speaking for a segment of hockey fans.

“I don’t know what we’re waiting for to get rid of this shootout stuff,” said Tortorella, per The Athletic’s Alison Lukan. “I know they are worried about the time limit [in overtime] … it’s not going to last long. If it goes past five minutes, it’s not going to be many more minutes after five. I think it’s just dynamite.”

With that in mind, I checked in to see if Tortorella had any support at the NHL level. Might the idea be discussed at next month’s general managers’ meeting in Toronto?

The answer I got was something along the lines of “No chance, not happening, why would you even ask that?”

more topics in the Beyond Headlines segment...

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Get To Bed

from Jeff Svoboda of BlueJackets.com,

Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nick Foligno live different lives, but there's one time of the evening where they can relate -- when the yawns start coming in the evening hours.

The 21-year-old Dubois might be watching binge-watching shows when his body starts telling him it's time to go to sleep for the night.

It's a little different for Foligno. A married 31-year-old with three kids, the Blue Jackets captain might be chatting with his wife Janelle after putting their children to bed when he starts to be overcome by the urge to hit the hay. 

In both cases, though, the Columbus teammates now know what the best course of action is, even if it's not always the easiest one.

Give in. Go to bed.

continued

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High Profile Coaches Meet Tonight

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

There was a time when big-personality NHL coaches walked the Earth and stomped the narrow confines behind team benches.

Pat Burns, on heated occasions, would jump atop the bench to holler at referees or gesticulate menacingly at his opposing number. Or Red Kelly, as well-mannered as they come, deployed pyramid power — placing five plastic pyramids beneath the Maple Leaf bench during the 1976 playoffs against Philadelphia — to blunt their Kate Smith anthem talisman. Can you imagine such colourful silliness and shenanigans today?

What a sober lot the NHL has become.

These are robotic and dim wattage days, depleted of characters on and off the ice. Perhaps because so much of the game has devolved to analytics doffins, hockey sadly following in the footsteps of baseball, worshipping at the altar of arcane eye-glazing metrics, video up the wazoo.

A pair of relics, however, will go cerebrally and charismatically mano a mano on Monday evening at Scotiabank Arena: Mike Babcock versus John Tortorella.

continued

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Video- Sonny Milano With The Goal Of The Night

Nice!

 

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Trust In Manny Legace

from Jeff Svoboda of BlueJackets.com,

As his summer was slipping away, Elvis Merzlikins could have continued to spend August at his home in Lugano, Switzerland, with picturesque Lake Lugano on one side and the rugged, beautiful Alps on the other.

Or he could have flown to Detroit, a fine Midwestern city in its own right but not exactly overflowing with lakefront palm trees or mountain vistas....

...Merzlikins and Legace were doing a similar form of friendship building on the human side. Trust is perhaps the hardest earned but most important quality in Merzlikins' life, and the goaltender admitted when he first met Legace, it simply wasn't there.

After the time in Detroit over the late summer, it was a totally different feel. 

"I started to trust him the last two weeks at his home when I was there," Merzlikins said when he arrived in Columbus this fall. "Now I'm trusting him 100 percent. He's one of my best friends here that I have. I think it's important to build a relationship because this person knows when to push you and when to leave you alone and maybe give you a rest. 

"I think this is really important. I had this kind of relationship with my ex-goalie coaches, and it worked really well so I'm happy."

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Goaltenders Galore In Columbus

from Steven Ellis of The Hockey News,

Replacing your No. 1 goaltender is never easy. It’s even more difficult when said No. 1 netminder is Sergei Bobrovsky, the best the Columbus Blue Jackets have ever had....

For now, Joonas Korpisalo, one of the five European netminders the Blue Jackets have under contract, is slated to lead the team in net, but he’s on a one-year, show-me deal and consistency has been an issue in his career. Is he the long-term solution? His career path says no, though he’s never had a better opportunity. But if Korpisalo isn’t the answer, who is? Columbus may need look no further than Elvis Merzlikins and Veini Vehvilainen, who helped the Blue Jackets to a third-place finish at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament. Vehvilainen, 22, won both starts, while Merzlikins, 25, went 1-1-0, giving his team a fighting chance in both contests despite a rather unspectacular .889 save percentage.

Before either can unseat Korpisalo, though, there are adjustments to be made. The first? The smaller North American ice. Merzlikins had just a handful of practice runs prior to Columbus’ playoff run in the spring to adapt, while Vehvilainen’s lone experience on an NHL-sized rink came at the 2015 World Junior Championship in Montreal, an event at which he struggled.

read on

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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