Kukla's Korner

The Lorenzi Line

Pedal to the Metal Columbus!

Good golly Miss Molly! Like a roller coaster this season has been climbing to the top of the hill. The Blue Jacket’s cart has now been speeding down that hill and making all its riders high on adrenaline. With the acquisition of Letestu and Nikitin our luck has changed. Due to Scott Howson’s brilliance these two players meshed so well with our Jackets that they turned their combined 0-1-1 season into a combined 4-7-12 after joining Columbus. Already Nikitin has topped Umberger in points with 8; R.J. is one of our players that desperately needs to turn it on.

Our very own Rick Nash is showing up to play with 4-2-6 in the last seven games. The efforts made by him when he is being shell shocked by three players as he walks into the slot still aren’t as keen as they used to be. Needless to say I would appreciate it if you stop going for the highlight reel Rick; we don’t need a Lebron complex plaguing our fragile bunch of soldiers. But hey, that deflection last night was absolutely sick! Just keep doing what you’re doing around the net; you’re really starting to spark hope in your city. You’re leading the club in goals but you’re also winning the worst plus/minus with -12. We’re lucky enough that your line mates, Carter and Prospal, are showing up and making plays on net; Carter with 3-2-5 and Prospal with 1-5-6 in the last seven games.

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  Tags: blue+jackets, columbus, edmonton, mason, oilers, rick+nash

Take notice, Columbus is on a brisk point jog

Last I wrote it was on the subject of another Blue Jackets loss:

“What you would expect to happen did; the Blue Jackets folded after the first period when two quick goals were potted on Mason in the second, twenty seconds from each other.”

A big change was made since then with Curtis Sanford taking the place of Steve Mason between the pipes. Since he was implemented Columbus hasn’t stopped gaining points. They aren’t poised to be an immediate threat at the moment but I’m convinced they will be atfer 10 or more games at this pace.

Just in case you missed it, let’s recap the last five games:

Jets 1 – CBJ 2
Wild 4 – CBJ 2
CBJ 1 – Bruins 2
CBJ 4 – Predators 3
Flames 1 – CBJ 4

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An Up and Down Loss

Columbus 2 – Minnesota 4

The Blue Jackets took to the ice as if they were the team we expected after the off season trades. Columbus put up 18 shots and 2 goals in the first period, something that had me on the edge of my seat. An early Blue Jacket lead can be trepidatious, I’d rather be down a goal going into the second period… What you would expect to happen did; the Blue Jackets folded after the first period when two quick goals were potted on Mason in the second, twenty seconds from each other.

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  Tags: blue+jackets, columbus, letestu, mason, minnesota, nikitin, shorthanded, vermette, wild

Dear Minnesota, Faith Has Been Restored – Game 17

Columbus previously thrashed the Jets last Saturday with a score of 2-1 and I’ve been on a joyous bender since then. The composure of the Jets was reminiscent of the game against Anaheim. Like the Ducks they were making lazy passes which made Columbus look like an elite team with how easily they were thwarted by the Jackets.

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  Tags: blue+jackets, columbus, mason, minnesota, nikita+nikitin, wild

67 To Go, Does Columbus Have a Chance?

After 15 games and a 2-12-1 record can Columbus crawl and then run? People are busy slamming the book on Columbus but I say don’t hold your breath. With the sketchy teams they are behind there lies hope.

25. Calgary 6-7-1 13
26. Carolina 5-7-3 13
27. Anaheim 5-7-3 13
28. Winnipeg 5-8-3 13
29. NY Islanders 4-6-3 11
30. Columbus 2-12-1 5

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  Tags: blue+jackets, clitsome, columbus, hope, mackenzie, mason, nash, prospal

Nationwide Arena is a Factory of Sadness, Forcing a Change

I strolled to Nationwide this evening expecting to see head coach Scott Arniel’s new plan he’s been working on during the 4 day break between games; the disappointment was immediate with camo jerseys everywhere leading the way.

Columbus did fine in the faceoff department getting 56.5% but seemed to forget what to do with the puck. They quickly got into the nasty habit of the dump and chase. After losing the chase most the time they were forced to defend against 16 shots in the first period alone; they only managed five. Head coach Scott Arniel admitted after the game that not much even changed in their new system. He described tonight game as them “skating in quicksand”.

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  Tags: blackhawks, blue+jackets, chicago, chili, columbus, grant+clitsome, mark+letestu, nikita+nikitin

Boll is Back for Chicago

Some pieces of the puzzle have been missing; Boll was one of the biggest.

Boll, 25, suffered a broken thumb during a preseason game at Carolina on September 30 and missed the season’s first 14 games. Last season with the Blue Jackets, he recorded seven goals and five assists for 12 points and 182 penalty minutes in 73 games. He set a career high in goals and ranked seventh in the NHL in penalty minutes.

Columbus’ fourth pick, 101st overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft, Boll has registered 20-23-43 and 737 penalty minutes in 291 career NHL games. He set career highs in assists and points in 2008-09 with 4-10-14 and 180 penalty minutes in 75 games. During his rookie season in 2007-08, he tallied 5-5-10 and 226 penalty minutes to rank second in the NHL in penalty minutes.

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  Tags: blue+jackets, boll, columbus, mason

Lurking in a tattered Blue Jacket

A team cursed since the first brick was laid on the land that was once the Ohio State Penitentiary; a place where nearly a thousand people had been hung, given the electric chair, burnt alive or murdered by way of prisoner’s throwing their guards off of the towers. The amount of death that surrounds this team is leading me to believe that these ghosts hate ice hockey and ultimately despise the Blue Jackets.

We’ve seen this team hit lows before but in their more recent history they set the bar of our expectations even higher than before. As a Blue Jackets fan you know not to expect much but your hope overflows. The six game losing streak broke the hearts of people who have dedicated their time to the team. Sorry but you won’t get those 360 minutes back. Now at 2-11-1 and 5 points the Jackets have something to prove, how desperate can you get?

What does a team who hasn’t anything to lose do?

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  Tags: blue+jackets, columbus, mark+letestu, penitentiary

Columbus is out of control

I try to make sense of it but still can’t figure out what in tarnation is wrong with this team. The Columbus Blue Jackets are 2-11-1 with five points in 14 games and don’t look to be speeding up. They are putting up the numbers on the ice but not on the scoreboard. The Blue Jacket’s weekly reports:

Columbus leads the NHL in hits with 381 (27.2 per game)… The Blue Jackets have killed off 18-of-21 opponent power plays (85.7 pct.) over the past six games compared to 18-of-28 (64.3 pct.) in its first eight games… The Blue Jackets rank fourth in the NHL in shots-against per game (27.9) but stand 30th in goals-against (3.71)… The club ranks 13th-tied in shots per game (30.0 pct.) but is 26th in scoring (2.21).

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  Tags: 1975, blue+jackets, columbus, flyers, hitchcock, philadelphia

A game of inches and upper lips

Columbus 1 – Toronto 4

The Maple Leafs dominated Columbus last night. Right from the get go it looked as if they forgot how to play the game of ice hockey. Passes were flying everywhere, turnovers were made and there was no evidence of knowing how to forecheck when at even strength. The only real opportunity arose from a wrist shot from Aaron Jonson four minutes into the game. The player celebrated thinking they scored but alas it was banked onto the post and out toward the boards.

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  Tags: blue+jackets, columbus, fedor+tyutin, james+wisniewski, leafs, rick+stache, toronto

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