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Category: Columbus-Blue-Jackets

Garon Ready To Play

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets are treading lightly, wending their way day by day through a tricky situation with goaltenders Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon.

Garon will be the starter when the Blue Jackets play host to the Calgary Flames tonight in Nationwide Arena, and he’s expected to remain in that role for as long as it takes Mason to rediscover his confidence.

But nobody knows how long that might take.

The process of stripping Mason’s game down to the foundation and building it back up again - along with his misplaced confidence - is just under way. The 22-year-old stayed on the ice long after practice yesterday with goaltending coach Dave Rook and others….

“I think I’ve proven that I can play 20-25 games in a row and it doesn’t bother me,” Garon said. “I know in a long stretch that I can do it. I don’t have a problem with it.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What To Do With Steve Mason?

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Drawing on the history of great goaltenders who required taking a step back, Darren Pang believes the Blue Jackets should send Steve Mason to the minors to regain his confidence.

Drawing on nearly 40 years of NHL experience as a goalie and broadcaster, Glenn “Chico” Resch thinks Mason would benefit from a fresh set of eyes analyzing his game.

Drawing on a 1980s movie analogy, Daryl Reaugh says the Jackets need to keep putting Mason in the danger zone until his talents propel him.

“It’s like Maverick in Top Gun, you keep sending him back up until he breaks through.” said Reaugh, an analyst for Versus and the Dallas Stars. “This kid is way too good to be struggling like he is.”

While four former NHL goalies and current television analysts offered different takes on Mason, they all agreed that Mathieu Garon is capable of carrying the Blue Jackets as they try to get their 22-year-old franchise goalie untracked.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Video- You Make The Call

Blue Jackets had a go-ahead goal waived off last night against Dallas.

What do you think plus more reaction at PuckDaddy.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Closure Reached On The Death Of Brittanie Cecil

from Mike Wagner of the Columbus Dispatch,

An endless stream of faces passed by Jody Naudascher at her daughter’s funeral, but the one she was privately hoping to see, the hockey player with the long, sandy-blond hair, didn’t walk through the door.

Yesterday, almost nine years after 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil died after being struck by a hockey puck, Naudascher finally met the man who had been carrying around his own anguish for the loss of her little girl.

Espen Knutsen, the former Columbus Blue Jackets player who shot the puck that struck Brittanie, embraced the trembling mother the moment he saw her, and the two began the closure that had escaped them both.

“I don’t hold you responsible; I never did,” Naudascher told Knutsen at Nationwide Arena during a private, one-hour meeting. “It was an accident, and you should never have blamed yourself for anything. I wanted to tell you all this back then.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brittanie+cecil, espen+knutsen

Not What You Need From Your Franchise Goalie

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

In the wake of a 6-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Rexall Place, Arniel must surely hope that this is rock bottom for goaltender Steve Mason, who was pulled for the third time in four games, but not before the loss to the Oilers was out of hand.

“(Mason) is in his own head right now,” Arniel said. “He’s probably his own worst enemy. But we’re going to stick with him and do everything we can to help him. Obviously, he has to be a big part of our hockey club.”

Arniel said he had a conversation with Mason during the first intermission, in which he told Mason that he was putting him back out for the second period, giving him a chance to work his way out of his struggles.

It was a crossroads moment in the game. The Blue Jackets dominated the first period, outshooting the Oilers 23-13 but trailing 3-2, and Arniel noted afterward that “I had more to say than him.”

Mason, who did not speak with reporters post-game, could not get it back together in the second period. By the end of the second, it was 6-2 Oilers and Mason was lunging at pucks, overplaying angles and not looking anymore comfortable.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Agree Or Not?

“Fans in general want to be looked upon as a respected organization in that they would follow it,” said Paul Kukla of the nationally recognized hockey blog Kukla’s Korner. “They just need to focus more on the game on the ice instead of marketing a carnival atmosphere.”

Wyshynski had to agree. No matter how you package the team, he said, “At some point you have to find some success on the ice to warrant the attention.”

The two of us agreed on something, all is well! 

Read the excellent blog from Steph Greegor of The Other Paper,

So how do fans carry the flag from here? And how can the CBJ marketing department correct a couple of missteps and continue to inspire loyalty—and sales?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How To Handle Hitchcock

from Jason Botchford of The White Towel,

When old Blue Jacket teammates Manny Malhotra and Raffi Torres think back to their days in Ohio, it’s not to reflect on the Columbus night life.

“We find ourselves talking about Hitch a lot,” Torres said. “Manny has big time Hitchcock impersonations.”

Ken Hitchcock may be gone, but he is not easily forgotten even if Torres only played for him for a year and a half.

He had some interesting — uh, old school ways — of motivating.

“When I first got there, Hitch was riding me on the bench,” Torres said. “I had just got there.  “Manny says to me ‘You got to give it back to him. He wants you to get into a confrontation with him.’”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock, raffi+torres

Rick Nash Can’t Draw A Call

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Nash has 241 goals and 442 points in 542 career games. He has a Rocket Richard Trophy (leading goal scorer) and an Olympic gold medal. He is a player of stature. Yet, he is treated by referees as a third-line grinder. It is not right.

On Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins were in town and Tyler Kennedy slew-footed Nash as the puck dropped on the opening faceoff. No call. Moments later, Sidney Crosby applied a two-handed slash - Carew-like, if not Ruthian - to the hands of Marc Methot. No call. And moments after that, Chris Clark touched Crosby with his stick - and went off to the box for slashing.

Crosby remains infamous for crying bloody murder during his rookie season a few years back. Good for him. In the NHL, whining is sometimes rewarded - and under certain circumstances, it should be. Crosby deserves the benefit. He’s the best player in the league, he has the puck all the time and he should be protected. Fans don’t pay to see him carved to the ice.

Why was Nash allowed to be felled? He’s not Crosby, but he’s not Matt Cooke, either. Come on already.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Morning Line

“I gave up reading blogs.  I don’t read any of that stuff anymore because it’s this never-ending (thing where) we win a couple of games in a row and everybody’s getting ready to engrave this team’s name on the Stanley Cup, and all of a sudden you lose two games in a row, and it’s fire everybody and trade this and trade that. That’s fine, that’s part of being a fan, and it makes for good topics for discussion, but I can’t read that stuff anymore. You can only block it out for so long before it becomes irritating.”

-Mike Commodore of the Colubmus Blue Jackets.  More on Columbus from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+commodore

Blue Jackets Missing ‘Tools’

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Legendary NHL coach Scotty Bowman once defined the five tools of a hockey player as head, heart, hands, hips and heels. By “heels,” Bowman meant feet, but the amateur wordsmith wanted the alliteration.

Those qualities can be applied, in a larger sense, to NHL teams. Great teams have all of the above, good teams have a sufficient amount of each, poor teams are missing one or more.

So what ails the Blue Jackets these days?

In the throes of a five-game losing streak heading into tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars in Nationwide Arena, “all of the above” would seem a fair answer.

Saturday’s 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Nationwide will go down as one of the most embarrassing nights in franchise history, which is quite a statement. It came just two weeks after the Blue Jackets flew home from California after having pulled off a West Coast sweep.

So how do they keep ending up in the abyss? With the exception of “hips” - too technical - let’s go category by category:


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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