Perhaps the silver lining in last night's 5-1 loss in Phoenix is that the Blue Jackets have a quick turnaround before getting right back at it.
Their chance at redemption comes in about five hours when the puck drops at Pepsi Center for the first of three meetings this season with the Colorado Avalanche, who have historically held the upper-hand in the all-time series. Columbus split four meetings last season with the Avalanche, and the last was highlighted by Cam Atkinson's first career hat trick.
It was a particularly crushing loss for the Avalanche, which needed to win that Apr. 5 to keep any hope of playoff berth alive. By the wayside it went, but for both sides, it's a completely different ballgame when things get under way this evening.
Colorado has split its first two games of the season, dropping a 4-2 decision on opening night in Minnesota and winning its own home opener Tuesday vs. the Los Angeles Kings. While it hasn't exactly been a "mixed bag" of results, per se, the Avalanche have played two distinctly different games in their only two outings. The Blue Jackets have to prepare for any and all possibilities tonight, as the Avalanche have proven to be one of the NHL's most unpredictable teams (and that's a compliment).
The Blue Jackets are only three games into a marathon 48-game schedule, but one of their overarching goals was set long before training camp even began.
No one in the Columbus dressing room wanted much to do with finding positives from last year’s 30th-place finish, despite their improved play down the stretch and the emergence of young players into bigger roles.
Once the preparation began for the 2012-13 NHL season, the slate was wiped clean and the first item on their collective agenda was to work toward a new attitude around the club.
After a season of sweeping changes to the roster, including five new acquisitions via trade and/or free agency, the Blue Jackets not only had a new look on paper but a new approach as a group.
Everyone must pull together on the same rope to get to the next level, and as new president of hockey operations John Davidson has told the team, they’re headed north and he’s concerned about what happens from this point forward.
For young players and veterans, the “team first” demeanor is what they’ve worked to cement and make sure it’s a hallmark of their identity.
Good afternoon, everyone! Apologies for the slightly late start on today's Blue Jackets game blog, but the lack of a morning skate has pushed us back a bit. Here's what has transpired since the Blue Jackets' 5-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes last night in Glendale: Steve Mason started his first game of the season and made 37 saves in a losing effort, and I thought he was particularly sharp at the start of the game.
He did not receive a lot of support, and despite taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Fedor Tyutin, the Blue Jackets were unable to sustain any semblance of flow in the offensive zone. As a result, they did a lot of chasing and a bevy of turnovers fed right into the Coyotes' preferred style of play: hard-checking, counterattacking hockey.
Get all the latest news, lineup changes & interviews from Denver as they happen with the BlueJackets.com game day blog!
The Blue Jackets are back on the road tonight and are about six hours from taking on the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena. If you'll recall, Columbus had one of its better games last season in that building: a 5-2 win on Mar. 3 that came days after the Coyotes polished off a perfect record in the month of February.
Steve Mason played well in that game and he's going to get the call tonight, making his first start of the season. The plan (at the moment) is for Sergei Bobrovsky to play tomorrow night against the Colorado Avalanche, Todd Richards said after the morning skate. That could change pending the outcome of tonight's game, but for now, that's where we stand.
I like the idea of playing Mason tonight, too. I know there's some skepticism out there and everyone has a right to express their opinion (my Twitter feed is proof of this), but I'm eager to see how Mason performs. He's worked hard this offseason to get into better shape and improve his agility, and since training camp began, he's logged some long days working with goaltending coach Ian Clark before and after practices.
Find Rob's "three keys" and other lineup news inside this blog post.
Good afternoon, everyone. It's time to fire up today's Blue Jackets game blog with the morning skate just wrapping up at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, and there's plenty to cover today.
The Blue Jackets and Coyotes are set for their first of three meetings in this shortened NHL season tonight, and it's the second road game for Columbus. As you'll recall, the first was a successful one with a shootout victory over the Predators.
Our own Jeff Rimer is on-site in Glendale to bring all the latest news and updates, and yours truly will be chipping in with analysis and insight as more information filters in. Follow along for up-to-the-minute information by clicking the "full story" link below.
If there's one thing to be learned about this Blue Jackets team through two games (and we must be cognizant of jumping to conclusions), we've seen that they will work their tails off.
After a 4-3 shootout loss to the Red Wings tonight inside an electric Nationwide Arena, there's much to be dissected and analyze before moving on to the next game Wednesday night in Phoenix. Here's the debrief: the Blue Jackets were sluggish out of the gate and gave Detroit too many power play chances, and provided a hungry team with just the boost it needed...
But they answered back. Two goals in the second period could have been an end-all-be-all in previous years, but these Blue Jackets looked a 2-0 deficit right in the face and turned the other cheek. When the Red Wings gave them opportunities on the man advantage, the Blue Jackets pounced on them and turned a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 lead with about half the third period left to be played.
Is there anything to take from a three-point opening stretch against two of the Western Conference's better clubs? Possibly, but the players aren't going to say they're happy with the result. They knew the Red Wings gave them a chance to win the game, and they were disappointed to not come out of tonight with the full two points.
Here are three main thoughts after tonight's game (inside the blog post).
The Blue Jackets did a lot of things well in their season-opening win over the Nashville Predators, but to a man, the players will tell you that Saturday night means nothing now.
Monday brings a new day and a new test, and tonight, it's the Detroit Red Wings who are in town and in a bad mood. As we discussed in today's Game Day preview, the Red Wings dropped a 6-0 decision in their season opener in St. Louis over the weekend, and there wasn't much to be pleased with if your name is Mike Babcock. The Red Wings held a practice yesterday at Nationwide Arena, and there was a lot of talk about working harder and putting forth a much better effort tonight against the Blue Jackets.
Here's where we are for tonight: there are no lineup changes expected for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky will start in goal and make his second straight start. He made 32 saves and stood tall in the shootout as the Blue Jackets got two points against the Predators on Saturday night.
Let's get started with my "three keys" to success for the Blue Jackets tonight, inside this blog post.
Good morning to you all! It's our second game day of the season, and this one is even more special. The home opener at Nationwide Arena gets under way at 7:30 p.m. tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. An exciting day lies ahead.
This live blog will serve as your one-stop shop for all Blue Jackets news today, includes lines/pairs, goalies, injury news (hopefully there's nothing here), video interviews, photos and more. If it happens on game day at Nationwide, we'll capture it.
Get all the latest news by clicking inside this blog post.