Kukla's Korner Hockey
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...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Jackets have won four straight games and sit tied in points with the eighth-place Detroit Red Wings in the West, heading into Wednesday night’s game at the Anaheim Ducks.
The odds remain stacked against them; the Jackets play four road games before wrapping things up at home April 27 against the Nashville Predators.
“It’s going to be a great test,” Richards said. “Anaheim, L.A., San Jose, Dallas and then home to Nashville -- there’s some great teams there, and we’re on the road for most of it. But I believe that the struggles we had early on made us stronger and better [able] to deal with what’s ahead of us now.”
What gives with these Jackets? How are they winning like this?
“Balanced attack with their top three lines,” a Western Conference head coach told ESPN.com via text message Tuesday. “Seem to have an all-in attitude and on the same page as far the style of play; defensive mindset first. Goalie is playing lights-out. And they have that belief that they can win because of that. They play hard and are on the right side of that feeling.”
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
“There are good stereotypes and bad, and most people focus on the bad,” said Slava Malamud, a senior writer for the Russian daily Sport Express and a correspondent for NHL.com.
Malamud, based in Washington, was in such a rush to get to Columbus to talk to Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, he got a speeding ticket from a firm-but-polite Ohio state trooper last week. Welcome to Ohio, Slava.
“With Russians, everyone is looking for lots of skill,” Malamud said. “Alexander Ovechkin has lots of skill, but he plays against type because he is driven by emotion. The prevailing stereotype is they are aloof, tough to figure out. They don’t always care as much because they are brought up with different values.”
The stereotype is a Cold War holdover that persists, nearly a quarter century after Alexander Mogilny defected. Russians are talented, but they hide behind a language barrier and do not care about their teammates. Right?
“During the Soviet era, the Olympics and the world championships meant much more than the Stanley Cup,” Malamud said. “That is changing. Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, these guys grew up wanting to win the Stanley Cup. It’s a totally different dynamic.”
Yet, the bias persists, even right here in Columbus. Pascal Leclaire, Alexandre Picard and Gilbert Brule are on a too-long list of Blue Jackets first-round picks who did not stick, but they were not lazy malcontents and team killers like Nikolay Zherdev and Nikita Filatov. Right?
Columbus Blue Jackets won in OT last night, Mike Haynes with the call...
Coyle received a match penalty and 5 for fighting and Anisimov did not return to the game.
First the Columbus broadcast followed by the Wild broadcast below.
Best to watch the replays from both feeds after the fight to get a better view of the hit.
Go behind the scenes and watch how an actual trade call is made, this one involves the Rangers and Blue Jackets.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
On Wednesday, the New York Rangers sent right-winger Gaborik — who had to shift to left wing this season because Nash arrived on the scene on the No. 1 line — to the Blue Jackets.
OK, Rangers GM Glen Sather got tough winger Derek Dorsett (a possible captain to replace Nash), out for the season with a busted collarbone, defenceman John Moore (a former first-round draftpick ) and centre Derick Brassard (another suspect first-round pick from the past) for the unhappy Gaborik.
Gaborik didn’t like playing left wing. In Columbus, he’ll play wherever and with whomever he wants. He had to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Jackets, with the clock ticking on the deal. Maybe if the Jackets were as bad as last year (30th in points), he might have declined. But, the Jackets are the feel-good story of the season, in the playoff hunt, with virtually no offence. “Gaborik’s an explosive player,” said Jackets’ GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who had said that one of his three first-round picks in June (LA’s for Jeff Carter) was in play for a big trade. In the end, he’s kept all three first-rounders. His own, LA and the Rangers (Nash).
This is a coup for the Blue Jackets, who have been bottom-feeders for so long but suddenly find themselves in a playoff race, actually playing better than Nash’s Rangers.
Dreger on TSN says Gaborik has agreed to the trade, now paper work has to go through.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
General manager Jarmo Kekalainen wants to add some offensive firepower to his resurgent club, but he doesn’t want to trade a player off the current roster or give up a significant part of the club’s future.
“We’re looking to add,” Kekalainen said last night. “We’ve put into play one of our first-round picks, the one we have from the Los Angeles Kings. We’ve offered that up to get some help for our team.
“We’re not doing rentals (veteran players with expiring contracts). We’re not going to do something that helps us this spring and then that’s it. We’re only going to do things that help us today and long-term, and we’re going to stick to that plan.
“If something good materializes with that philosophy, well then we’ve got a deal. If it doesn’t, this club has shown it can be very competitive. So let’s see where it goes.”
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.
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