Kukla's Korner Hockey
Offensive Struggles Continue For The Washington Capitals In 2-1 OT Loss To The Columbus Blue Jackets
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,
Against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, with new forward trios once again, the Capitals scored one goal, giving them three five-on-five goals in their last four games. So, now what?
“It’s up to the group,” Trotz said. “I mean, everybody’s capable of offense. We’ve got to just generate. You know, some guys have got to find the back of the net. Some guys have got to be committed to trying to score. Right now, some guys are not committed enough to score, so they’re going to be on the outside. They’re not going to score.”...
The lines the team debuted at Columbus were taken as a message from Trotz that some skilled players need to start producing, and only Nicklas Backstrom did against the Blue Jackets with a goal in the second period. He scored again in the third period, but it was then disallowed after Columbus successfully challenged it was offsides.
Captain Alex Ovechkin, playing with grinding, defensive center Jay Beagle, played just 14:12, the second-lowest time on ice he’s logged in his career in a full game. The only time he played less, he was a rookie and was five games into his career. Ovechkin is second on the team in scoring with seven goals and four assists, but he doesn’t have a point in four straight games.
Game highlights are below...
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
More than two years after news of his personal financial crisis rocked the hockey world, Columbus Blue Jackets player Jack Johnson has reached a settlement in bankruptcy court with six of his eight creditors.
Johnson, 29, has liquidated two homes — one in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the other in Manhattan Beach, California — as well as a Ferrari valued at $125,000, and he will be, according to one creditor, “the lowest-paid player in the NHL for the next two seasons.”
As part of the agreement, filed by Judge John E. Hoffman Jr. in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbus on Thursday, Johnson will turn over most of his $5 million annual salary from the Blue Jackets both this season and next, keeping only a negotiated sum for “living expenses.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
Tortorella marveled at how Werenski pushed through in a game that was, at times a struggle. It's easy for young players -- especially defensman -- to get down when the game tries to humble them.
He also marveled at Werenski's game-winner.
“I’d like to see how many players in this league could get it backhand to forehand in the net as quickly as he did on that goal,” Tortorella said. "There are some great young players in this game, and you hear their names all the time. We have a defenseman. To me, that's a key position in our game. To have a kid like that, who I thought struggled at times tonight, but he makes a huge play right there."
more on the Blue Jackets 3-2 OT win over the Ducks...
Watch Werenski's OT goal below...
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed defenseman Seth Jones on Injured Reserve, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. He is expected to miss three weeks after suffering a hairline fracture of his foot in Saturday's contest at St. Louis.
Jones, 22, has registered three goals and three assists for six points with a +1 plus/minus rating and has averaged 24:14 of ice time in 10 games with the Jackets this season. He leads the Blue Jackets in time on ice (17th in NHL) and leads club defensemen in goals and ranks second in assists and points.
The Arlington, Texas native has posted 20-69-89 with 66 penalty minutes in 250 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators. He has collected 5-21-26 and 12 penalty minutes in 51 games with Columbus since being acquired in a trade from Nashville on January 6, 2016. Jones was the Predator's first round pick, fourth overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.
from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,
KR Is the public perception of you different than how you are?
JT Oh, sure.
KR I was a little scared to talk to you, to be honest.
JT Oh, no. But I can’t do anything about that. And I don’t want to chase perception, it’s too hard. Those top 10 lists [sports networks] sometimes have—if that’s what people want to think of me, I can’t change that. Because that is me in those situations. If people want to roll me up in a ball and say that’s who he is, I can’t change that. But for the people who really know me, they know me. This is a hard interview for me, and you’re going to end this pretty quickly because you’re talking too much about me.
JT This is the last question for you, Kristina. Out of the game, I’m private. So we’re done.
Columbus Blue Jackets 10, Montreal Canadiens 0.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Saturday’s 3-0 win in Dallas may have been the most complete game the Blue Jackets have played under coach John Tortorella. Or at least the most complete game at a point in the season when it still matters.
The Blue Jackets looked fast in Big D. They played off each other and looked cohesive. They found the perfect balance, Tortorella said, between carrying the puck through the neutral zone (making plays) and dumping it into the zone (fore-check!).
Now comes the next challenge: Tuesday's game vs. the Los Angeles Kings in Staples Center.
“I’m anxious to see if we get too high, or if we handle ourselves the right way, as far as our readiness for the next game,” Tortorella said. “We’ve had meetings on it already. We’ve discussed it. And now we’ll go play and see where we go.”
Tortorella has been trying to determine how much he can trust his players’ professionalism since he arrived in Columbus a year ago. He has a reputation as a demanding coach, but Tortorella grants as many off days as any other coach. And he prefers to not have mandatory game-day morning skates.
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Tortorella understands the game is trending faster and involving more defensemen on the rush.
“I see the youth of the team and I’d like to see us develop into this type of club that’s not afraid to make a mistake and bring some more offense,” the coach said. “That’s the way the game is going . . . (Our defensemen) are very young, but they have legs and they can get up (ice).”
The emphasis on taking more chances will be fascinating to follow. It’s an easy philosophy to espouse in preseason when the miscues by a Werenski or Markus Nutivaara, 22, don’t hurt the Blue Jackets’ in the standings. The consequences are about to grow in severity, however.
Will Tortorella be able to live with the miscues and odd-man-rushes against that come with playing an up-tempo game? The coach says yes provided the gambles are aggressive not reckless.
“I’m going to have to turn away at some of the mistakes that are made as we try to get this straightened out . . .,” Tortorella said. “We have to stay with it and that includes the coaches.”
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Zach Werenski met Jack Johnson several years ago on a recruiting trip to the University of Michigan. Details of that autumn afternoon were clear for one, a bit hazier for the other.
Johnson was an established NHL defenseman hanging out at the Wolverines-Notre Dame football game with his younger brother, Kenny, also on an informal visit that day.
“Jack was someone I kind of looked up to growing up,” the 19-year-old Werenski said. “He went to the (USA Hockey National Team Development Program) and Michigan. It’s a similar path I went on.
“He probably doesn’t remember, but I remembered. I knew who he was.”
The two Michigan men were introduced as a pair to Blue Jackets fans on Thursday night in Nationwide Arena. How would a Wolverine tandem play in Columbus?
Quite well, actually.
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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