Should it surprise you that Don Cherry considers Boone Jenner to be his type of player? Not really.
The former NHL coach and current Hockey Night in Canada personality has had plenty of good things to say about Jenner dating back to his junior hockey days, but this past weekend, Cherry made sure to mention the Blue Jackets' leading scorer on "Coach's Corner."
Host Ron MacLean teed him up and Cherry closed out the segment with his assessment of Jenner's game. In the video above, this begins around the 6:00 mark with Cherry breaking down the timeliness of his goals, his resiliency after a back injury last season, and then MacLean chimes in with a compliment of his own.
Watch the video to hear Cherry and MacLean's comments in full.
The Blue Jackets head into Wells Fargo Center tonight looking to salvage yet another set of back-to-back games.
It’s not an excuse nor is it an out, but merely something they have to deal with as they keeping plugging away at the early hole they dug for themselves. No sense hanging your head after a shootout loss to Florida last night, as coach John Tortorella would say, just get back on the horse and get back to work.
Here’s the task at hand: the Philadelphia Flyers are red-hot, entering tonight’s game on a four-game winning streak after an overtime win over New Jersey last night.
Yes, the offense is struggling for Columbus – so it should be no surprise that they’ll make some changes tonight and get some bodies back in the lineup.
Yes, the Blue Jackets are struggling offensively -- but that cannot change their approach and commitment in the defensive end, according to John Tortorella.
They squandered multiple opportunities in Montreal (a 2-1 loss on Tuesday) and had their share of chances last weekend in St. Louis, but their defensive game has been solid and the goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky has alleviated some breakdowns along the way.
One thing they want to get going is the power play, which did not score, or really threaten, during a five-minute venture on Tuesday and came up empty in the third period against St. Louis. In tight games, in the third period, special teams make a difference and have a hand in whether you climb the ladder or hang tight.
The Blue Jackets want to make sure they're climbing.
"This happens to a lot of teams," Tortorella said. "It's a tough league to score in. You just hope they feel good about themselves, make some plays and it goes in the other direction for them."
The Blue Jackets got some good news even before they took the ice for practice today at Nationwide Arena.
Fedor Tyutin, out since suffering a broken nose in the first period of a Nov. 20 game against the Nashville Predators, returned to the ice and took part in the full skate with his teammates. Normally a player who opts to go without the visor, Tyutin was wearing a half-visor for Thursday’s practice.
Also on the ice was David Clarkson, who’s been skating on his own at the OhioHealth Ice Haus in recent days and was cleared to take part full-go today. For the first time in a while, the Blue Jackets had more than enough players on the ice for practice – a positive and welcomed development as they try to get back on track after a pair of disappointing losses in St. Louis and Montreal.
John Tortorella said he’s not sure what his lineup will look like tomorrow vs. Florida, but Tyutin said after practice that he felt great during the skate.
The Blue Jackets, after a day off for Thanksgiving, were back at Nationwide Arena this morning for a morning skate before hosting the Penguins tonight.
And this morning skate was a bit more detail-oriented, likely due to the off day and a performance on Wednesday night that concerned head coach John Tortorella. After the team’s 2-1 win over the Devils, Tortorella said “it was a team effort of sloppiness” and that the Blue Jackets have “zero habits right now.”
For a team that’s trying to pile up wins and climb up the standings, that’s something needing a cleanup in short order.
They won’t have a formal practice to work on the details until Monday morning, but for now, they’ll have to watch the tape and go about it one shift at a time, starting with tonight’s game against a Penguins team that’s starting to find its game.
As it often goes in sports, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news? It certainly looks as though the Blue Jackets are getting two big parts of their lineup back sooner than later. For a second straight day, both Brandon Dubinsky and Alexander Wennberg took part in the full practice, and today, Dubinsky ramped it up a bit further and took reps on a regular line.
In contrast to Monday’s practice where Dubinsky sat out the heavy contact drills, today was a different story. Wennberg was right in there with him, and if one or both is able to play Wednesday night in New Jersey, the Blue Jackets are getting a huge boost at a pivotal point in their season.
They’ve had injury troubles all over the lineup, but the man games lost at center ice have been most glaring. The Blue Jackets have struggled in the face-off circle (and it directly lead to third period trouble against San Jose), and getting two of their top centers back is certainly an injection of good news as they get set for back-to-back divisional games wrapped around Thanksgiving.
John Tortorella had originally planned to give the Blue Jackets a day off today, but after watching the game tape, he changed his mind.
Instead, the team gathered at Nationwide Arena for a meeting and an hour-long practice just after the noon hour.
There was simply too much for the team to work on, he said, coming off a disappointing home loss to San Jose on Sunday night – one that they couldn’t afford to have slip through their fingers with a two-goal third period lead.
“I just felt we needed to come in and work on a number of different things with mindset, and that’s what we did,” Tortorella said today. “I changed my mind. I changed my mind, and we just have too many things to do. I would have loved to give them the day off…but sometimes, you have to look at the whole big picture of where we are as a team, and I don’t think we could afford a day off today.”
If the Blue Jackets are to continue their home-ice momentum, they will have to do it (surprise!) the hard way.
Adversity has found its way into the fold once again, in the form of injuries to two defensemen – Cody Goloubef and Fedor Tyutin – in the first period of Friday’s 4-0 win over the Nashville Predators. Goloubef is out indefinitely with a fractured jaw (he had surgery on Saturday at Dublin Methodist Hospital) and Tyutin’s status is considered to be day-to-day.
In the wake of those injuries, the Blue Jackets called up Andrew Bodnarchuk from the Lake Erie Monsters, and he’s a guy they feel can give them some stability in the interim. Bodnarchuk, 27, was signed as a free agent this summer and assigned to Cleveland out of training camp; he’s known for a steady two-way game and for keeping things simple on the back end.
Today’s game against the San Jose Sharks will be Bodnarchuk’s sixth at the NHL level, and he’ll be joined by Dalton Prout, who’s back in after sitting out a few games as a healthy scratch.
The Blue Jackets are no strangers to adversity and they were dealt a heavy dose of it early in tonight’s game.
Stay tuned to BlueJackets.com for updates on both players when and if they become available following tonight’s game.
No morning skate today for the Blue Jackets, who get right back on the horse tonight against one of the best teams in the stacked Central Division.
You know them well, of course. The Nashville Predators are old friends of Columbus from the former Central Division days. There were some wicked, confrontational battles between these clubs when they met eight times per season (though I think the Blue Jackets are glad they don’t have to make four visits to Bridgestone Arena anymore…that was their house of horrors).
It’s been a long week for the Predators having not played since Tuesday night, when they beat the Anaheim Ducks on home ice before getting a brief respite. The Blue Jackets have had no such luxury, having played last night and are currently in the midst of a three-in-four spurt that concludes Sunday at Nationwide Arena against the San Jose Sharks.
Here’s what we know so far: Pekka Rinne is expected to start in goal for Nashville. He’s always played well against Columbus, so it’s not much of a surprise if he ends getting the nod from Peter Laviolette.