Kukla's Korner Hockey
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...
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...
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