Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The Blue Jackets seemed to emerge as one of the favorite sleeper teams to watch in the Eastern Conference coming out of the Olympic break, and just last week they were nestled in quite nicely among the top three teams in the Metropolitan Division.
But the Blue Jackets haven't been able to string together consecutive wins over the past six games and that has cost them valuable points.
As of Monday, Columbus trails Toronto by two points for the last wild card spot, and though the Maple Leafs appear to be on the brink of disaster the Blue Jackets are not doing themselves any favors right now, either.
Friday's 3-1 loss to the Rangers was a magnificent game on both ends of the ice -- spirited, physical, energetic -- and it's hard to imagine they did not suffer an emotional letdown in their visit to Long Island Sunday.
The Blue Jackets were blanked 2-0 by a feeble, injury-ravaged Islanders squad. The biggest question mark for Columbus right now? The power play, which was stifled on all six attempts Sunday and has not recorded a goal in the past ten games. The Blue Jackets still have two games in hand on the Leafs, but they are going to have to show more consistency in order to earn a post-season berth.
read on for Burnside on the Leafs, Custance on the Wild and LeBrun on the Leafs...
from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,
“I think at this time of the season, you’ve got to find a way,” Richards said. “You’ve got to dig down. And if your energy isn’t quite at the level it needs to be at then It comes down to game management.
“You’ve got to manage the game better, in how you play, how you handle the puck, the decisions that you make.”
Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said the Jackets’ effort wasn’t up for question, but “if you can’t come to play for at least 20 minutes a night then you ought to take up Putt-Putt or something,” he said.
“Push yourself for 20. Guys tried. But (the Islanders) only needed one to win. That’s a tough pill to swallow, when you can’t score one goal.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
There was the goalmouth fracas at 17:06 of the second period in which Nash launched a pair of gloved fists at Bobrovsky’s throat when the goaltender swatted away No. 61’s stick after the two men had collided on the winger’s right wing drive to the net on which an apparent goal was waved off for “incidental contact.”
Incidentally, that followed a first period in which Bobrovsky twice whacked Nash across the back of the legs in a game that began nasty and only ratcheted up as it evolved.
“What set me off? Did you see? It’s that [Bobrovsky] flings my stick away when I reach down to pick it up after he gives me two whacks,” said Nash, still on a high in the postgame room. “He’s an emotional guy trying to get into the game and I’m trying to get my team the game.”
Then, there was the fight with Matt Calvert at 0:12 of third, the game still scoreless, after the wingers jostled and sparred before and immediately after the opening draw of the period, and then went down in a heap before Nash started throwing punches when both regained their feet.
“That was probably the two cross-checks to the head, the slew foot and him saying he was going with me and doesn’t care,” said Nash, who had seven shots in 14:44. “Did you see?”
more and watch the Nash/Bobrovsky incident below...
“One thing I’ve prided myself on is never burning bridges or cutting ties, I love Columbus. I love the ownership. It’s just the time we were at … it wasn’t working. At the time, I thought that was best for my career, but I’ve never burned bridges. The McConnell family (which owns the team) made me into who I am today.”
“I don’t know if this sounds bad or not, but I’m really excited that the Blue Jackets are doing well and they’re in a good spot (in the standings). The fans deserve it. They’ve been through a lot with 13 seasons and only four playoff games.”
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. Nash will play in Columbus tomorrow for the first time since the trade. More from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
fromMichael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets outshot the Hurricanes 47-20. It was their highest shot count of the season....
The Blue Jackets outshot the Hurricanes 19-0 in the third period. It was only the third time in their history that they have held an opponent shotless in a period, and the first time in nearly seven years....
The Hurricanes scored on their first shot of the game.
The Jackets did not score until their final shot of the game.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes a demon temptress plays with your mind.
Once again, the earth moved in the Metropolitan Division. The New York Rangers won. The Philadelphia Flyers won in overtime. The Washington Capitals won in Anaheim. The Blue Jackets, who started the night one point out of second place, slipped to fourth in the division and eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The short version: This morning, they are holding down the second wild card, even in points with the Capitals and one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
I have nothing against the shootout. In fact, I like it. I've never changed the channel when a game goes to the shootout and always notice that every fan is on their feet in an arena where a game goes to a shootout.
Still, I hated to see a great game between the San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets end in a shootout Thursday night. That one needed at least five more minutes of overtime, because the entertainment level was off the charts.
You had one of the West's hottest teams in San Jose exchanging punches with a Columbus team that is trying to prove to the world it's for real, in a Nationwide Arena that was absolutely electric. It didn't seem right that it ended the way it did, with a 4-3 shootout win for the Sharks.
But even in the loss, the Blue Jackets continued to bolster their case, and are now tied with the Rangers for second in the Metropolitan Division. Nationwide won't be an easy building to play in if the Blue Jackets make the playoffs.
more topics with Burnside on the Leafs, LeBrun on the Lightning and Strang on the Bruins...
"There have been a lot of ups and down here. The fans really want it bad. The support has been good. But we have to prove it, though. We have to continue to prove that this won't be a club that's just going to be a flash now and again. We've got to be a consistent team that plays a consistent game that has growth. It's a hard thing to do but that's the idea of us trying to get better."
-John Davidson, President of Hockey Operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets. More on the Blue Jackets from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
Peverley collapsed in the bench area, can hear a pin drop in Dallas right now.
More information as it becomes available. Teams now heading to dressing room.
added 9:12pm, Dallas rink announcer updates the crowd with Peberley is conscious and has been taken to the hospital.
added 9:36pm, video of the incident below...
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Ryan Murray will likely miss the rest of the regular season, and the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs should the Jackets qualify, after having knee surgery yesterday.
The official word is that Murray will miss 4-6 weeks. There are five weeks remaining until the regular season ends April 12 in Florida....
The Blue Jackets lost Fedor Tyutin to an ankle injury in the Olympics. Then Murray went down. On Thursday in Chicago, Nikita Nikitin suffered a head injury. He, too, will miss tonight's game in Nashville.
But Murray's lost has cast a pall over the club for the past 72 hours.
"You lose Tyutin and take Murray out of the lineup … that’s a lot of quality minutes," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "They were playing big minutes and tough minutes.
"Ryan's a young kid, so it’s something he’ll be able to get over. He still has a long career ahead of him. The impact right now … it’s a big impact. He was a real, real bright spot for us all year."
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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