Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Columbus Blue Jackets website,
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik has an abdominal injury that will require surgery and a recovery period of three to four weeks, the club announced today. Due to the injury, Gaborik will be unable to represent Slovakia at the upcoming IIHF World Championships.
“Marian experienced some soreness towards the end of the season and after undergoing his exit physical and further examination today, it was decided that surgery is the best option for a quick and full recovery,” said Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson. “Marian will have the surgery and after a three to four week recovery period will be able to resume off-season training.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
The Blue Jackets finished one point out of the playoffs. Former GM Scott Howson's rule did not come back to bite them; they would have lost out to the Wild in the previous tie-breaker scenario (total wins), too.
But this one stings. It stings for many because of the way this team played: so tough, so resilient, so full of passion and energy, even in a season when a compressed schedule made hamburger of their groins.
About two hours after last night's game ended, three mini-dozers came through the Zamboni entrance and started ripping up the ice, always a depressing scene.
Another hockey season has ended in Columbus ... but this was not like so many of the others.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Whatever happens, the Jackets have written one of the best stories of this truncated season. Their goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, is the front-runner for the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) and is integral to the script. Yet the cast is large and the tale seems pure fantasy.
Since Feb. 26, when they had the worst record in the NHL, the Jackets have lost fewer games (five) in regulation than any other team in the league. Over the same span, they have accrued more points (41) than any team save for Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago. It is crazy.
They are 18-5-5 in 28 games over the past 60 days. They went 5-1 in their final six road games after going 5-11-2 in their previous 18. They have won at Minnesota, Anaheim and San Jose. They have won without Artem Anisimov, one of their top centers; and Nikita Nikitin, who mans a point on their power play; and Matt Calvert, their bowling-ball winger.
On Thursday night, they won in Dallas when the alternative was elimination. Dare anyone doubt them?
Here are a few "ifs" between Detroit. Minnesota and Columbus going into the last game of the season.
Minnesota will win the tie-breaker if even in points with Detroit or Columbus.
Detroit wins the tie-breaker if tied with Columbus in points.
Columbus doesn't win any tie-breaker so they must finish a point ahead of Detroit or Minnesota to finish 7th or 8th.
Games on Saturday
Detroit plays in Dallas at 7:00pm ET, Columbus at home against Nashville at 7:00pm ET and Minnesota plays at Colorado at 7:30pm ET.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Detroit is up a point on Columbus and has the tie-breaker in its favour, meaning the Blue Jackets need Detroit to lose in regulation in their final game against the Dallas Stars, which would allow Columbus to slip past them in the standings with a victory. Seems improbable, except for the fact that two years ago, a similar sort of scenario unfolded, Chicago getting the final playoff spot, because the team chasing them – Dallas – unexpectedly lost on the final Sunday to a Minnesota team that had already been eliminated from the playoffs. Given a second chance, the eighth-seeded Blackhawks pushed No. 1 Vancouver to seven games and only lost in overtime of the deciding game. What is it they say? Stranger things have happened.
more hockey topics discussed...
Vezina and possibly Hart Trophy candidate Sergei Bobrovsky with his top 10 saves.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Matt Calvert to a two-year contract extension through the 2014-15 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“Matt is a dynamic young winger that plays with great tenacity at both ends of the ice and we look forward to his continued development and contributions to our hockey club,” said Kekalainen.
Puck-Rakers reports the deal is for $1.975M.
Ryan Johansen with the game winning goall after a turnover by Joe Pavelski.
from the CP at TSN,
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
"I was asked the question when I first got there, 'How do you compare this to what you went through in St. Louis?'" Davidson, the Blue Jackets' first-year president of hockey operations, told NHL.com. "I said, 'I think it's a little different because this team has a better defense.' You can see the strength of this team, aside from Bob [Sergei Bobrovsky], is the defense. This team has played to its strength, and that's its goals-against.
"Keep the puck out of the net, give yourselves a chance. Everybody has bought in."
But nobody, not even Davidson, could have seen this coming two months ago.
The Blue Jackets were 5-12-2 after a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 26 gave them a 1-5-0 record on a six-game road trip. Those were the first six games they played after Jarmo Kekalainen replaced Scott Howson as general manager.
Since that point, the Blue Jackets are 16-5-5 because, as Davidson expected, their defense stepped up and Bobrovsky started turning himself into an elite goalie.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
There were scrums all over the ice, including one at the final buzzer that resulted in Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky being assessed a match penalty. Dubinsky is suspended until further notice from the league, according to NHL policy.
At the end of the game, as dance partners began to pair up, Dubinsky came up from behind on Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr behind the Kings net. Doughty approached from behind and through a right-hand puck at Dubinsky, which appeared to hit the mark. Dubinsky turned a charged after Doughty, who ducked and covered in front of the empty Los Angeles net.
"Just a cheap shot, and that's his personality," Kings forward Kyle Clifford said of Dubinsky. "We've got guys out there and he goes after Doughty, who is not our toughest player."
more on the game and the Blue Jackets...
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 email@example.com