Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
The supersonic speed that once defined Gaborik’s game is missing. The snap wrist shot that once wowed crowds is now rarely unleashed. Outside of the power play, the scoring chances have all but disappeared.
Where did they go?
“That’s what we’re trying to find out,” coach Todd Richards said. “I think he’s trying to find that out about himself, too.He’s one guy we have to get more game out of, and I’m not just talking offensively. There’s more to him and his game, and we need to find it.”
Gaborik has gone seven games without a goal as the Blue Jackets prepare to play tonight at the Boston Bruins. His slump coincides with the Blue Jackets’ 1-5-1 plunge into a last-place tie with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Metropolitan Division.
“It’s not the easiest thing,” Gaborik said. “I’m trying to stay with it, trying to do some other things out there. I have to try to get more; keep plugging away. We’ve been moving forward the last couple of games. I feel better out there, too, so maybe it’s coming for me, too.”
... by the food....
from Allison Ward of the Columbus Dispatch.
By the time hockey fans start arriving on Friday for the Blue Jackets game against the Canadiens, members of the Nationwide Arena culinary crew will be well into their second day of preparing the vast array of food to be consumed throughout the night.
All 66 of them.
The feeding of 18,000 people, after all, takes plenty of hands and ample time — especially when one menu doesn’t serve all.
Depending on the area of the arena — lower bowl or upper bowl, Club Level or Suite Level, Time Warner Cable HD Lounge or party tower — the house-made choices might vary widely.
And, in recent years, the offerings have become increasingly elaborate, thanks largely to the growing popularity of the Food Network and the rise of the “celebrity chef,” said John DiGiovanni, one of three primary arena chefs.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Is Cam Atkinson learning to play like Marian Gaborik? Shudder at the thought. Gaborik makes $7 million, and we haven’t even seen him turn on the jets this season. If one must float, one must score.
Is R.J. Umberger happy with one goal a month?
Do the Jackets miss injured Matt Calvert this much?
Do they miss Keith Acton, the assistant who left Columbus to take an associate coaching job in Edmonton? Acton told players things the players did not want to hear, but needed to hear. Is there anyone in the room that will do that?
Will anyone tell Gaborik to get his butt in gear, the way John Tortorella used to?
Can Nathan Horton, when he is healthy, change the dynamic? This is the dynamic: Losing is easy. The checks still clear. The back table is still reserved.
Can coach Todd Richards light a fire under these guys?
Is the new brain trust worried? Is the time drawing near when general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has to shake things up, before it is too late?
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Brandon Dubinsky was one of the original Bluebloods, part of the class of Rangers including Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal to come through the system and reach Broadway when the philosophy changed to a focus on in-house development following the 2004-05 lockout.
He was there as a rookie to center Jaromir Jagr when neither Scott Gomez nor Chris Drury proved a match for No. 68 in 2007-08, and he was there when the Blueshirts went to the conference finals in 2011-12.
And then he was gone, traded to the Blue Jackets in late July of 2012 with Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick in exchange for Rick Nash, the finisher general manager Glen Sather devoutly believed would carry the Rangers across the finish line.
“The hardest part for me was that we had grown up together and had taken the team from not making the playoffs in forever to the conference finals, and then not only my trade, but all the moves [that summer] I didn’t understand,” Dubinsky said before facing the Rangers for the first time in Thursday night’s 4-2 Blue Jackets’ loss.
“Sometimes that’s the way New York is. They like the flash and the dash, and they want a new toy, I guess.”
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Without Bobrovsky, last year’s team might have been the rebuilding team that the world expected before the season. Without that Bobrovsky, this team looks a lot like that rebuilding team.
It’s one reason the coaches had to make sure Bobrovsky understood that a second straight game on the bench was intended to give him another day to work on some of those “minuscule” differences, and nothing more.
“I’ve had a couple of conversations with him,” coach Todd Richards said. “The one thing I let him know — he is our guy. He is our guy. He was the best goalie in the league last year for a reason. He galvanized this team and this franchise.
“We had other players that played well, without question, but he was the guy who stepped up first and gave everyone else confidence, and then everyone else’s game kind of blossomed after that.”
NEW YORK (November 2, 2013) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced the selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus as hosts of the 2015 National Hockey League All-Star celebration. The League’s mid-season showcase will take place Saturday, January 24 and Sunday, January 25 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL All-Star Game.
The 2015 NHL All-Star Game will be the first time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Columbus, becoming the third consecutive first-time All-Star host city. Raleigh in 2011 and Ottawa in 2012 also were first-time hosts. The Blue Jackets and Columbus previously hosted an NHL signature event, successfully welcoming thousands of NHL fans, executives and personalities to the city for the 2007 NHL Draft.
Further details on the 2015 NHL All-Star celebration, including ticket information, special events and television broadcasting information will be released at a later date.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
There have been no talks about a contract extension between the Blue Jackets and right wing Marian Gaborik, and there seems to be no urgency on either side to strike a deal. Gaborik, who would be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, said he hasn’t given his contract status much thought....
But what Kekalainen wants from Gaborik doesn’t show up in the stats. “He could be the driving force of the team,” Kekalainen said. “I’d like to see him taking charge, driving the team with his example — not only with the points but with everything else he does. “He’s at the point in his career where he could take the next step in that area. He’s proven he can score points, score goals. I want to believe that even a 30-year-old or a 35-year-old player can get better, and that’s one area that I want to see more from him.”
from Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch,
Coach Todd Richards often has downplayed the differences between the NHL’s Western and Eastern conferences, with the Blue Jackets switching to the East this season.
But this week, after the Jackets played eight of their first 10 against Eastern opponents, Richards was quick to acknowledge one major difference.
“When we go back and look at where we’re getting scoring chances, we’re getting a lot more off the rush this year, which is different than last year,” Richards said. “I think it’s the transition game in the East. We’ll see how it goes later on, but we’re able to generate a lot more off the rush.”
The Blue Jackets are scoring more (2.73 goals a game) than they did last season (2.40), but they are content to counter with the forecheck, the cycle and the greasy goals that go with them.
“We can’t all the sudden become a run-and gun, up-and-down-the-ice team that trades chances,” forward Mark Letestu said. “As much as the fans would love that for entertainment purposes, we can’t do that. It’s not conducive to who we are. We have to be the cycling, offensive-zone team that creates chances by tips and rebounds.”
The Ducks announced Koivu would not return for the 3rd period.
You can also view multiple .gifs of the hit here.
added 8:20pm, The video above was from the Ducks broadcast, what the Columbus broadcast below...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
In the seven seasons between lockouts, teams that were among the top eight in their conference on Oct. 31 made the playoffs at a 75 percent rate. In four of the seven seasons, it was seven of eight, or 87.5 percent. The Jackets have only twice in their history been among the top eight in their conference at the end of October, in 2007 and 2009. They have only once made the playoffs....
It’s early yet. It’s only October. There still is a lot of hockey left to play. Colorado, Toronto and San Jose are off to particularly fast starts. They have won early hands in the big game, and it becomes easier for them to play as they go along. The Jackets are among a raft of teams looking to rake in some chips. The Jackets won two road games and lost two home games before facing the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena last night. The Jackets lost 2-1. They are 2-3. It is getting later all the time.
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.
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