Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Shawn Roarke of NHL.com,
In a week's time, Columbus gets to put its hockey growth in front of fans of the NHL when the All-Star Game comes to Nationwide Arena.
The growth of the Blue Jackets, who are again morphing into a team to be respected across the rest of the League after its playoff showing last year and weathering those early-season injuries to key players, will be in the narrative.
The hockey infrastructure also will be part of the tale that needs to be told during hockey's midseason gala.
But the growth of Columbus as a city and supporter of professional hockey will be perhaps the most evident story of the weekend.
The fans who crammed Nationwide Arena last spring proved this is a major-league city that has allowed the Blue Jackets to ease, ever so slightly, the stranglehold enjoyed here by the Ohio State football program.
Word is getting out, louder and faster by the day, that hockey is a big part of the fabric.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It was a fantastic goalie matchup in Columbus on Wednesday night, and for two-and-a-half periods it looked like Sergei Bobrovsky would outduel Carey Price. But then the Montreal Canadiens exploded for three power-play goals -- two by Max Pacioretty, who now has 20 goals on the season -- and rallied for a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Price was once again outstanding as he bolstered his Hart and Vezina campaigns.
The Canadiens continue to prove people wrong and now sit just one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division, and the Habs have three games in hand.
For the Blue Jackets, this is a devastating loss. To be up 2-0 midway through the third period and lose like that could be a loss that deflates them. They had rallied hard since Dec. 1 to save their season, but with the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals on fire were unable to make up much ground in the Metropolitan Division, and barely any in the conference overall, either. Now 13 points back after Wednesday's loss, it might be time to start thinking about next year.
read on for Custance on the Wild, Burnside on the Kings and Strang on the Capitals...
from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,
Blue Jackets penalty, Montreal power-play goal. Repeat. Repeat again. Lose three in a row. Do the collapse. A rash of rule-breaking cost the Jackets dearly tonight. Matt Calvert, Jared Boll and Brandon Dubinsky were boxed for slashing, high sticking and boarding, respectively, during a stretch of 4:10 late in the third period. Did they really just take those? Really? Yes, and they led to two power-play goals for Max Pacioretty and another for P.K. Subban.
A 2-0 third-period lead for the Blue Jackets went poof. “We just gave away two points,” Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said. “Something we don’t want to do is lose two in a row,” Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert said. Instead, they lost three in a row, and their already deep hole was dug deeper. The season is half complete. Forty-one games remain. The Blue Jackets are 18-20-3, 13 points out of a playoff spot.
“It’s just disappointing. This one bothers me. We found a way to lose this game.” – Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Jackets’ terrible first two months, precipitated in part by a litany of ghastly injuries, might just bleed them out on the floor of this jungle. As well as they have played of late — before last night, they had not lost two in a row since November — they are 10 points out of a wild-card spot. They are as close to last place in the Eastern Conference as they are to a playoff spot.
The Blue Jackets might need three more 10-victory months, and they need a couple of teams ahead of them to feel the same ax of injury that they have felt.
It is possible, given the heart and esprit de corps they have shown the past six weeks. It is possible with improved health, and with 42 games remaining, and with Bob, knock on wood. But it is not likely.
All is not dark.
Sleepwalks such as the one the Jackets took last night are not unusual for a team returning from a long trip that included one last stop in customs. It hurts because points are so precious, but this team has proven resilient. There is a good vibe among the players, who wanted no part of the Connor McDavid derby once they realized they were the lead horse for the No. 1 pick in the draft. They yanked those reins. Good for them.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed 2013 Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky to a four-year contract extension through the 2018-19 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Bobrovsky, 26, has gone 68-41-13 with a 2.34 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 123 games with Columbus since the 2012-13 season. He is 110-64-23 with a 2.50 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 206 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers.
“A common thread of every successful team in our league is outstanding goaltending and we believe we have one of the best at the position in the world in Sergei Bobrovsky,” said Kekalainen. “He is a tremendous person and a very talented player whose work ethic sets the tone for our team. We are very happy to have him signed for the next four years.”
“This is a very exciting day for me and I am very happy knowing that I will continue to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and be able to play with the guys in this room, to work to get better every day and help the team achieve our goals together,” said Bobrovsky.
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed left wing Nick Foligno to a six-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season, Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced prior to tonight’s game vs. the Minnesota Wild. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Foligno, 27, has registered 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points with 20 penalty minutes in 33 games this season. He leads the club in goals and points (tied) and is among the NHL’s leaders in goals (sixth-tied), points (23rd-tied), power play goals (nine, first-tied) and power play points (17, second-tied).
“Nick has been an important contributor to the growth of our team over the past two years and keeping him in the Blue Jackets family has been a priority,” said Kekalainen. “The fact that we were able to get this deal done is a testament to Nick’s commitment to our team and this community and we couldn’t be more excited that he will be a Blue Jacket for many years to come.”
When the Columbus Blue Jackets scored their fifth goal, Bruins play-by-play Jack Edwards expected it to not count because the puck should have been called dead a minute ago. But when it ended up counting, he wasn’t a happy camper.
Another round of Milan Lucic vs. Dalton Prout, Jack Edwards with the call.
Milan Lucic this morning as the Bruins prepare to play the Blue Jackets tonight...
via the Situation Room Blog,
At 8:49 of the third period in the Chicago Blackhawks/Columbus Blue Jackets game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Columbus net. Video review determined that the puck deflected off the stick of Blackhawks forward Ben Smith and into the net in a legal fashion after it was kicked by his teammate Marcus Kruger. According to Rule 49.2 (ii) "A kicked puck that deflects off the stick of any player (excluding the goalkeeper's stick) shall be ruled a good goal." Good goal Chicago.
Watch the goal below and my only question is, what about goalie interference?
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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