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Category: Columbus-Blue-Jackets

Audio/Video- Reasons For Success In Columbus

John Davidson joins the guys from Sportsnet to discuss his team.


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John Tortorella Just Letting The Boys Play

from Tim Campbell of NHL.com,

A revised version of John Tortorella is hitting all the right notes with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

More patience has been the centerpiece of the coach's updated approach.

But a kinder, gentler Tortorella?

He said that might be an overreach.

"Don't think I've just changed completely here," Tortorella said before the Blue Jackets defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday. "I wouldn't say that at all. How can I answer that? My job is to push athletes and try to get them to a level they don't think they can get to. That's not going to change.

"I think the adjustment I have made with this team here and this year from last year, let's say, is that with some of the skill that has come in and the way the game has gone, I think you need to allow them to play."


Below, watch the game highlights...

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A Winning Feeling In Columbus

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The music used crank in the Blue Jackets’ locker room after most victories. It cranked for years and years and years – sporadically. Victories did not come apace, and when they did come, they wanted to feel the beat. (Oh, some of the crap they played, too).

Saturday night in Nationwide Arena, the Jackets shook off a slow start and then stomped the New York Islanders 6-2 in Nationwide Arena. The Jackets scored four goals in the third period and a crowd of 16,928 stood and roared for the final minute. The people are starting to find the turnstiles.

Afterwards, the locker room was quiet. The players who were requested to meet the media met their responsibilities and slipped out the back door. There was no music cranking, not anywhere in the bowels of the building. It was just another new day on a different landscape.

“It doesn’t matter what the score is, we just feel like we’re going to win,” center Brandon Dubinsky said. “It’s a great feeling. We go into third periods – we’re down, we’re tied or we’re up – and we just find a way to lock it down.”


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Winning The Faceoff Is Just Step One

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Hockey is the most unscripted of major sports, but it doesn’t mean the game lacks strategy, especially on faceoffs. Blue Jackets fans might have noticed this season their players talking more before draws and occasionally huddling.

The club is making a concerted effort to create more offense from faceoffs. Assistant coach Brad Larsen leads the campaign and offers a few set-play options before every game.  Boone Jenner’s goal scored 13 seconds into Saturday night’s 3-2 shootout win over Arizona was a play Larsen presented to the squad in a pre-game meeting.

“First shift of the game we had a play we wanted to do and it worked to a T,” said Dubinsky, who won the opening faceoff to set a play in motion that caught the Coyotes napping. “It’s a rare chance to say, ‘Here’s the tendency of another team. They forecheck this way, they come out to the points that way. We’re going to try this and see if it works.’”

read on

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The Columbus Blue Jackets Continue To Roll

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

In this Season of Giving, the Blue Jackets have become absolutely miserly.

The club ran its winning streak to four games by limiting the Arizona Coyotes to 18 shots in a 4-1 victory at Nationwide Arena on Monday night.

The Blue Jackets have yielded more than 28 shots on goal only once since Nov. 15. In that stretch, they have gone 8-1-2 to vault into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

“The confidence level is going up and everyone trusts each other to do their jobs,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said. “Everyone is just playing their roles and I think it helps make everyone calm on defense ... It’s day and night from (last season), you can see the shots going down.”

The Blue Jackets surrendered a first-period power-play, but gave the Coyotes few great looks on a night Columbus improved to 15-5-4.

The Blue Jackets entered play fifth in goals-against average at 2.19. In the past 11 games, they have allowed 1.91 goals per game.


Below are the game highlights

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Sergei Bobrovsky On Pace To Play Around 72 Games

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

A month ago, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said he planned to keep Sergei Bobrovsky’s number of starts to a manageable 58 to 60 this season. 

Asked Monday if a goaltender who’s started all but two of 19 games could stay in the target range, Tortorella responded: “It’s doable.” Informed it would mean limiting his puck-stopping workhorse to roughly two of every three remaining games, the coach declared war on arithmetic. 

“I don’t do the math . . . I’m not a numbers guy,” he said. 

The good news for Tortorella and the Blue Jackets (11-5-4) is the goaltending “numbers” have been strong. The club ranks sixth in goals against average (2.27) and Bobrovsky’s statistics (2.15 GAA, .929 save percentage) are in line with his Vezina Trophy-winning season in 2013-14. 

He’s also on pace to play about 72 games, which seems like an unsustainable pace for a goalie with a history of groin injuries and one who has never started more than 57 games. 

“Bob is our No. 1 goalie and we’re going to monitor the situation very close . . . to make sure we don’t overload him or overwork him,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “But he’s going to play most of our games no matter who our backup is.” 


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Videos- Barry Trotz Not Happy With Late Penalty Call

via Aaron Portzline tweets,

Trotz was particularly upset about the highsticking call - Backstrom on Foligno - that led to #CBJ game-winning power play.

Trotz: "I hope the league looks at that. You see the replay. He doesn’t really touch him. (Foligno's) head pops up when Backy’s stick

is already on the way down. That’s just a little bit disrespectful to the game. the league will look at that. We have fines for ...

"... that. If that’s something that they took advantage of, I wouldn’t be too happy if I was the referee."

Watch the play below and the game winning power play goal too...

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Matt Calvert’s Night

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

Matt Calvert stood at his locker stall after the game, a Civil War-style kepi on his head, a bandage across his forehead and a growing welt around his right eye -- as if he just walked off the set of Glory.

Calvert wore something else, too: a smile.

The Blue Jackets’ third-line speedster left Friday’s 4-2 win over the New York Rangers midway through the second period after he was struck in the face by a slap shot, opening a nasty cut over his right eyebrow.

He returned to a rousing ovation from a crowd of 14,541 in Nationwide Arena early in the third period, then scored the game-winning short-handed goal – the Jackets’ first shorty this season – with 11:45 remaining to give the Blue Jackets' a signature win.


Two videos below, Calvert takes a puck to his head and the game-winning goal...

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John Tortorella’s Style Change

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Now, though, with the Jackets preparing to meet the Rangers here Friday night, the old has become new again. And Columbus is thriving under this approach, 6-1-1 while scoring an aggregate 34 goals in the last eight games with 10- and 8-goal outbursts, and 8-4-3 overall.

And, as seems universal across the NHL, the Jackets’ success is being driven by young talent such as 19-year-old defenseman Zach Werenski, the eighth overall selection in the 2015 entry draft, and 22-year-old center Alexander Wennberg, the 14th selection in 2013 who has taken a bit more time to establish himself.

“I think I’ve learned to let guys go,” Tortorella said when asked about his journey back to the future. “I talked to our GM and our coaches and looked at the talent we have on the team plus the skilled guys we had coming from [AHL] Cleveland, and it became clear that that’s where we needed to go—to go with skill.

“Now, you still always need the grind. That part hasn’t changed. And ‘Safe is Death’ is not about not coming back and playing on the other side of the puck. It’s not just run-and-gun here. With guys we have on the back end like Werenski, it’s not always about chipping it in.


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The Columbus Blue Jackets Look Like A Team On The Rise

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Rookie magician Zach Werenski scores the tying goal. Video coach Dan Singleton wins a replay challenge, erasing the Capitals’ potential winning goal. Demons, be gone. Brandon Dubinsky, bleeding from the nose, wins a faceoff and Cam Atkinson wins it in overtime. How about that? They did it again.

The Blue Jackets won 2-1 before a small-but-boisterous crowd at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night. Their fans are not accustomed to this kind of thing, not at this time of year, but there it is. The Jackets have won six home games in a row. They have won six of their past eight overall.

They are getting dangerously close to being adoptable.

They have been criticized by at least one wayward columnist for their lack of a No. 1 center yet, to this point, Alexander Wennberg has been better than a reasonable facsimile. He was second in the league with 13 assists, right behind Connor McDavid, heading into Tuesday’s game. The whole power play runs through his halfwall.

Captain Nick Foligno has removed the anvil from his back and has been a force on and off the ice. He was 12th in the NHL in scoring with six goals and 10 assists entering the game. The third line — Matt Calvert-William Karlsson-Josh Anderson — has been consistently excellent.

On the defensive side, Seth Jones has taken his game up a couple of octaves.


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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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