Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Page of Sports Illustrated,
There's no mystery what Johnson's flaws are. He's a great athlete who lacked polish as a prospect. He often found himself out of position, standing still on key plays. He made bad first passes. All I want to advance in this column is a unifying theory for why his many faults persist and why no amount of NHL experience or athleticism will ever erase them: Jack Johnson has no spatial contextual awareness.
Hockey is a game that happens at a high speeds, with multiple people, all with unique traits, moving in different directions. The ability to recognize who is where, what they can do, and where they will be, is the fundamental skill of the modern game. This was the great innovation of Wayne Gretzky, the hallmark of the legendary Red Army teams, the thing that separates Sidney Crosby from a handful of equally-skilled, physically more impressive peers.
from Shawn Mitchell of he Columbus Dispatch.
“It was no surprise,” defenseman Fedor Tyutin said, dripping sweat at his stall after practice. “It’s the way it works and the way it should be, really.
“If a guy doesn’t want to give 100 percent during a game, then it’s going to happen in practice. This is not a country club where you can just work whenever you want. It’s normal, and I think it’s good for our team at this point. Hopefully, we learned a big lesson.”...
The Blue Jackets had a lengthy team meeting yesterday morning. Among the topics of discussion was taking pride in doing gritty, inglorious things that were once second nature. Then they hit the ice, and Richards began barking. At one point, he had five-man units skating end-to-end during 50-second shifts.
“I don’t believe in using practice as punishment,” Richards said, “but there are days when I think you have to.”
Watch the hit below...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It could be worse. What if the Blue Jackets did not pluck Jack Skille off waivers last month? Where would they be without Scott Hartnell?
Sure, the Jackets are dealing with an injury situation that is unprecedented in franchise history. Yet, they have enough quality and depth to withstand it, and to be better for it. Is that a fair premise? I think so.
The very soul of the team — Dubinsky, Jenner, Calvert, Bobrovsky and Letestu are a major part of it — has been compromised, but the sky has not fallen. The Blue Jackets are dealing with it.
Foligno is averaging more than a point per game. Hartnell is averaging just under a point. You want soul? There it is.
Ryan Johansen has accepted a massive burden and has 13 points in 11 games. Atkinson has become an ever-present danger. Skille has been terrific.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
What are the Blue Jackets to do? Their personnel losses are no longer on paper, they are holes on the ice. You could feel what an ordeal it was for them to score. They got pucks to the net. They generated some traffic. Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier was pretty good. Yet, with $29 million in prime talent unavailable, the lack of finish is palpable.
The Jackets (4-6) have lost four in a row by an aggregate of 18-6.
“No matter who is in or out, if you’re not doing the little things … this league is just too good,” center Ryan Johansen said. “The big thing to me, though, is we’ve got to score goals. I had seven shots on goal tonight, and I’ve got to bury some of those. We’ve got to find a way to get more pucks in the net.”
Columbus fell in love with the Original Jackets because they left all they had on the ice almost every night. That is what coach Todd Richards must demand of his club as it treads water until help arrives. That is what the youngest players on the youngest team in the league must embrace. And if a prized prospect such as Alexander Wennberg is not ready, well, next man up.
Columbus can root for this team. We love underdogs, especially those of the junkyard variety. One might suggest, though, that they cut down on the blue-line turnovers and odd-man rushes against, the sorts of things that vaporized their small margin for error against the Maple Leafs — who, by the way, are no powerhouse.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Jarmo Kekalainen sits in a suite high above Nationwide Arena and manages a smile when his Blue Jackets make it through a practice without adding another player to the walking wounded.
That’s just how it is right now in Columbus: You have to take your victories where you can get them.
The star-crossed team has been on an unparalleled run of bad luck. In the last week alone, it has seen forward Nick Foligno stretchered off the ice after a freak collision with a linesman, franchise goalie Sergei Bobrovsky suffer a fractured finger during practice and defenceman James Wisniewski suffer the exact same injury in a game.
If that was the extent of the issues, a team could cope.
But then you remember that there are serious questions about Nathan Horton even playing this season because of back issues and that Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Mark Letestu and Matt Calvert are also on the shelf.
from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will miss 1-2 weeks because of a broken finger suffered on Monday. Defenseman James Wisniewski will likely miss 1-2 weeks because of a broken finger suffered tonight. Center Artem Anisimov will miss an undetermined amount of time after he suffered a blow to the head and left the game for good in the second period. Add them to a list of injured Jackets that already includes Boone Jenner (broken hand), Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery), Matt Calvert (upper body), Nathan Horton (back) and Nick Foligno (neck). Ouch.
“Whether I’ve done something or somebody’s done something to the hockey gods…I’ve never seen anything like this. It seems like every time we play a game somebody is getting hurt.” – Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, who said he has never before seen a rash of injuries at any point in his career.
more on the Columbus loss to the Senators last night...
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on Injured Reserve and added goaltender Anton Forsberg to the roster on emergency recall from the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Bobrovsky suffered a fractured finger when he was struck by a puck in practice on Monday and is expected to miss one to two weeks. He is 4-4-0 with a 2.81 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in eight games this season. The 2013 Vezina Trophy winner has appeared in 187 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers, going 99-58-21 with a 2.47 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and nine shutouts. The 26-year-old native of Novokuznetsk, Russia went 32-20-5 with a 2.38 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and five shutouts in 2013-14.
Below, watch how the injury occurred.
Kings say Kopitar has an upper-body injury, not likely to return.
Maybe it was this hit from Tim Erixon that injured him.
update 7:25pm, Kopitar talked post-game but did not say much.
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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