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Category: Columbus-Blue-Jackets

Blue Jackets Start A New Streak With A Win

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,

The Blue Jackets room was kept closed for several minutes after their 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Rexall Place last night.

Music was cranked and players let loose for a few moments. It’s doubtful many Jackets knew they had averted tying a franchise record for the longest winless streak (14 games). Ending the 13-game skid, however, brought temporarily relief and lots of smiles.

The scene is open to interpretation. They were celebrating for finally winning a game against the only team worse than themselves? Or, maybe it showed a lot guys care and there’s pride in the room, however wounded.

“It’s exciting to win again, but it’s just one game,” Jackets captain Rick Nash said. “We will enjoy it but there is another one (tonight). We will have to be ready.”


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

Blue Jackets Didn’t Expect To Lose Again

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

“Nobody saw this drop-off. We started (this season) 12-6-3,” said GM Scott Howson. “Now, seven weeks later we’ve dropped almost out of sight. Everyone is just sort of bewildered by it. Including the players.”

Don’t forget the head coach.

On Wednesday, in the midst of the most perplexing and disappointing seasons in the career of a lifetime hockey man, Hitchcock stood inside Rexall Place pondering his predicament. In the city where it all began for him, a few words from an old coach came to mind.

“He said, ‘Did you sign up to win? Or did you sign up to coach? Because you can’t do both,’” Hitchcock said with a smile. “‘If you signed up to win, and that’s all you signed up for when you got in this business, then you might as well get lost. It ain’t going to work.’”

And so Hitchcock, and the Blue Jackets, are losers once again.


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

Watching Hitchcock

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The problem, when a coaching death watch begins, is that they often become self-fulfilling. The players start to hear rumblings about a possible change and it creeps into their collective psyche. They wonder about its implications, good and bad, for them as individuals. They stop playing on instinct; hesitation sets in.

Pretty soon, everybody is standing around, waiting for the other shoe to drop – and the frustrated general manager is there, watching the whole thing unfold, ready to tear out his hair because he doesn’t want to make a coaching change, but knows he may have to.

That, in a nutshell, is pretty much where the Columbus Blue Jackets stand at this moment, on the heels of a 7-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night, the first of three games in Western Canada that continues Thursday night in Edmonton.


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

Commodore Pulls Himself Out Of The Lineup, Even Though He Wasn’t In It

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock won’t get the chance to scratch Mike Commodore for tonight’s game.

The club’s highest-paid defenseman has told the coaching staff he won’t play until he feels “100 percent.”

It’s yet another twist in Commodore’s bizarre season, one filled with injury, poor play and conditioning issues.

On Sunday, he notified Hitchcock of his intent on the team’s flight to Vancouver. The coach had benched Commodore for the past three games but was thinking of playing him tonight, pending a meeting with the player and several assistants, including strength coach Barry Brennan.

“The whole year has been a disaster, but I’m looking to move forward,” Commodore said. “Unless I have to, I’m not playing until I’m ready, until I’m 100 percent. When is that going to be? I don’t know. I thought it was going to be a month ago.”


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

The Problems In Columbus & Edmonton

from Spector at Fox Sports,

The Blue Jackets entered 2009-10 coming off their first playoff appearance in franchise history, while the Oilers — having made changes behind the bench and in goal — were expecting to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Instead of being in playoff contention both clubs enter the New Year mired in the bottom of the Western Conference standings and in danger of falling out of the postseason chase….

Goaltending has been a common issue. The Oilers brought in veteran Nikolai Khabibulin last summer to be their starter but he struggled with a bad back which eventually sidelined him in late November. Backup Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers has done his best but it’s clear in relief that he’s not yet ready to be a full-time starting goalie.

The Blue Jackets made the playoffs last season in large part to the goaltending of Steve Mason, who won the Calder trophy as rookie of the year with his 33-win, 2.29 GAA, 10-shutout performance. This season, however, Mason is mired in a sophomore slump, with only 11 victories in 32 games, a bloated 3.18 goals-against average and only two shutouts.

read on

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

Is Hitchcock Next?

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

From the press box in Nationwide, Dispatch beat writer Aaron Portzline text-messaged general manager Scott Howson, who was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, scouting the world junior championship. Portzline asked whether the firing of Murray gave Jackets management pause to reflect on Hitchcock’s job safety. Portzline phrased the question differently, but that was the gist.

Howson’s answer: “The decision in St. Louis is not relevant in Columbus.”

The Blues aren’t running the Jackets, and vice versa. The Jackets will handle their own coach as they see fit. Understood.

But the question, in some form, will not go away—not when the team is losing at this rate. Would Hitchcock still have his job if he started the season 1-13? Is there anywhere else in the league where a coach can survive a 3-13-7 streak? Would anyone be shocked if Hitchcock got the boot tomorrow?

read on

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

Blue Jackets Trying To Make A Trade

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Lots of scuttlebutt across the hockey world right now that the Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals are on the verge of a trade.

A source within the Blue Jackets has confirmed that the Blue Jackets and Capitals have had serious trade talks, but also told The Dispatch today that the Blue Jackets are close with another club as well, but wouldn’t reveal the club.


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

Time For A Shake-Up

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,

Blue Jackets general manager is talking to several clubs about making a deal to help lift the club from its worst stretch in franchise history.

In the meantime, Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock might be trying to send a message Monday night to his underachieving group by playing minor-league call-up Alex Picard.

Hitchcock is adamant about playing Picard against Detroit on Monday. Now, let’s see how far up the food chain Hitchcock is willing to go. Swapping Picard for Mike Blunden or Jared Boll does little.

A Kristian Huselius or Jason Chimera or Derick Brassard would be different. Let’s face it, there are lots of candidates.


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

The Fragile Blue Jackets

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Nobody would fire a coach at Christmas, right? Not even the Columbus Blue Jackets, whose bench boss, Ken Hitchcock , was feeling the heat thanks to a dismal December in which the NHL team went 1-7-3 to slip to the bottom of the Western Conference? What ailed the Blue Jackets from the start was goalie Steve Mason ‘s sophomore slump, in which he was consistently giving up goals early and often, putting his team behind the 8-ball.

More recently, the Jackets look like a fragile team, their confidence in shreds, skating as though on eggshells. Coaching changes don’t fix that – just ask the Philadelphia Flyers, who are struggling as badly under Peter Laviolette as they were under John Stevens.

continue for more hockey notes…

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

Blue Jackets In The Midst Of A Bad Stretch

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Kristian Huselius spent most of the day in the team hotel, fighting through a bout with the flu from his bed. He should have stayed there.

Huselius made two brutal plays that led directly to two Stars goals and a 3-1 loss before 16,532 in American Airlines Center.

It was a night that demanded dialed-up play from everybody in the lineup, but the Blue Jackets didn’t quite get it. Huselius was the poster child. He was on the ice for all three Dallas goals and finished with a well-deserved minus-2….

The Blue Jackets now get two days off for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Before you sharpen your talons, this is not a Ken Hitchcock decision. It’s an NHL rule that teams can’t practice or play on Dec. 24-25.

Maybe the Blue Jackets will get better luck for Christmas. Or some heart. Or character. This is a brutal stretch, indeed. This is the worst 18-game stretch in club history. When you know this club’s history, that’s really saying something.

more on the loss to the Stars…

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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