The Lorenzi Line
A month has gone by and Columbus is on the rise. During the historical preseason for Columbus, who acquired two high-end forwards (Carter, Prospal) and two defensemen (Wisniewski, Martinek), there was hope for the 2011-2012 season. We hoped to see Columbus upset the balance in their division but instead the expected happened. Usual suspect James Wisniewski increased his suspension tally to three in his career; his third was in the Jacket’s preseason and put him on the shelf for a total of 12 games, 8 of which were regular season.
Columbus 3 - Anaheim 1
After a night without Mason and the 5-2 loss to Chicago the Blue Jackets bounced back. Like every season the Pacific coast gave us an early win. What was the key to this? Takeaways. Currently Columbus leads the league in takeaways, just like the win against Detroit this last game against the Ducks was made possible by way of intercepting and rushing with the puck.
Columbus 2 - Buffalo 4
The first five minutes of the game seemed to set the tone but the fans in Columbus were disappointed once more. The Blue Jackets came heavy early on and Cody Bass would not stop trying to get a fight in his favor going. The game totaled 42 penalty minutes giving Columbus six empty power plays. It was no surprise to witness this when historically Columbus has never had a working special unit. Unfortunately Buffalo has the second best penalty kill in the NHL.
Alas presence in front of Columbus’ net exists! Steve Mason, in his purple pads that were later auctioned off to benefit breast cancer research, stopped 30 shots and caused the fans in Columbus to lose their minds. The monkey is off their backs and pants got tighter last night after dominating the Red Wings on all ends of the ice. The keys to this success was killing the movement of Detroit, Mason denying great scoring chances and Jackets following through with checks that were never attempted in the previous 8 games; most of all was collecting loose pucks.
Who would have thought that the Zero would have plagued the Blue Jackets this long?
There will be a performance on the 25th at Nationwide when Columbus takes on Detroit. This have everything to do with ice hockey...
“I love those crazy things you make me do” What he’s talking about is paying to see Columbus lose.
It has been a nightmare of an opening season in Columbus and rumors are starting to birth. The question is “what needs to be changed to start winning?”. Besides the obvious, which would be to start scoring more than 2 goals every single game, the reality may be a change between the pipes. Already it’s being discussed that may Jackets are being sought after for a trade. Those players are Kristian Huselius, Derick Brassard, Antoine Vermette, Matt Calvert, Maksim Mayorov and even Steve Mason.
Yesterday’s game started with a ring; vulcanized rubber rang off the Jacket’s post and made its way behind Mason and out the other side. This is when the cold sweats start. Out of the line-up was Atkinson, Calvert, Carter, Sanford and Methot but it didn’t show. Columbus skated hard to the puck but eternally left the front of the crease to the Stars.
The first period was very exciting with the Jackets shooting the puck 12 times, one less than the total shots of their last meeting with Dallas. This was the game, you could feel it. Midway through the period a shot from former and now again current Blue Jacket defenseman Aaron Johnson went through the five-hole of undefeated Star’s goaltender Lehtonen. What a start, but wait…the goal was waived off. No video review, no calling Toronto, just waived off. Why? The referee claimed Derek Dorsett was in the crease during the goal.
The purchase of Nationwide Arena is the step in the right direction for the surrounding businesses, even if the Jackets keep losing.
“Early in the year, we always struggle. We want to get through the Thanksgiving time period when things start to pick up. But our business we clearly recognize winning is important,” stated Larry Hoepfner, executive vice president of business operations for the Blue Jackets.
R Bar Arena owner Michael Darr believes the plan to buy Nationwide Arena is long overdue and should give the team a boost.
“I think San Francisco at one time was the last city to be privately-held arena. Other than that, we were the only ones. It’s not fair to ask one person, one company to take that burden on while everyone else benefits,” said Darr.
Signs posted in windows of the arena tout deals for families as well as groups of 30 or more. The promotions are important and CBJ officials hope they bring in casual and die-hard hockey fans.
“We have a number of promotional ideas as the season goes on that we implement to bring in crowds. We think there’s a natural increase that will happen as the season rolls on. But what we’re not going to do anything that will undercut or under price our season ticket holders,” said Hoepfner.
The question now, will bars and restaurants continue to thrive if the Blue Jackets don’t start winning? Michael Darr says even if only half the seats sell at home games, that’s plenty of business for everyone.
“There are still 9,000 people coming to the arena. I know our bar doesn’t hold 9,000, so they have to go somewhere,” stated Darr.
The news just keeps getting worse for Columbus. After the tossing of Matt Calvert to the minors they have some new injuries to deal with. Jeff Carter will be on a weekly watch to return from a hairline fracture on his foot during the last game against the Stars and back-up goaltender Curtis Sanford was injured during practice. Sanford saw little action this season (18 minutes and 3 saves) and was lucky to be on the bench. The original back-up goaltender they had geared for this season, Mark Dekanich, was injured during the first pre-season game.
Goaltender from the Saint John Sea Dogs Mathieu Corbeil will be the backup tonight.
Corbeil, 20, has gone 7-2-0 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .899 save percentage in nine games with the Sea Dogs this season. In 2010-11, he combined to go 20-16-2 with a 3.10 GAA and .882 SV% in 40 games with Halifax and Saint John. He went 13-1-1 with a 2.17 GAA and .908 SV% in 15 games with the Sea Dogs, including a 4-0-0 mark in the playoffs en route to helping the club win the Memorial Cup.
A native of Montreal Quebec, Corbeil was the Blue Jackets’ fifth pick, 102nd overall, in the 2010 Entry Draft. He has a record of 38-71-2 with a 3.59 GAA in 123 career QMJHL games.”
Today winger Matt Calvert was sent to Springfield to taste greatness once more. Coach Scott Arniel is concerned that he “lost a little bit of his jump” and wants him to rediscover the confidence that he once had his rookie season. Calvert achieved a hat trick and 20 points last season; he’s a player from last season that the coaching staff expects more from. In 5 games this season he got an assist and is staying in the positive for the plus-minus.
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