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.
Prior to yesterday’s game against the Red Wings, head coach Todd Richards talked about progress as a process, and he wanted to see improvement on both sides of the puck, defensively and offensively.
One area he wanted to see improvement was special teams – the power play and penalty kill, which he said was good, but not good enough.
“It’s good to generate momentum, but there are times when we have to score,” Richards said.
The team responded to that challenge with two power play goals in the third period last night. James Wisniewski scored to tie the game at 2-2 with a powerful slap shot from the point. Vinny Prospal gave the Blue Jackets the brief lead off a wrist shot that came at the tail end of Kyle Quincey’s minor penalty for interfering with RJ Umberger.
The down side?
Aside from walking away with one point instead of two, the Blue Jackets spent too many minutes sitting in the penalty box. Various Blue Jackets players landed in the box at nine different times last night and the team played shorthanded seven of those nine times. Hockey giveth and taketh away.
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 are riding a wave of momentum after winning their season opener on the road in Nashville, but head coach Todd Richards said they’ll need to be even better if they want to earn their second win of the season tonight in the home opener against the Detroit Red Wings.
“We don’t want to get too comfortable with ourselves. We haven’t proven anything yet,” Richards said after today’s morning skate.
“We still have a long way to go. (Saturday) was a great step. Tonight is a night where we have to take another step.”
The spirits during the morning skate today were lively, but the tone in the locker room afterwards was serious and businesslike. The Blue Jackets are very familiar with the winning tradition of the Red Wings, a tradition that was muted by a 6-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
In short, both teams have a lot to prove tonight.Read the full story inside this 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.
Derek Dorsett has been around long enough to have a complete history knowledge of the Blue Jackets' struggles in Nashville. But entering last night's season opener at Bridgestone Arena, he could not have cared less about the past.
Like his teammates echoed all week, they were approaching the game with a different outlook and a clean slate attitude. Their focus was on the first game of 48 on this year's NHL docket, and ensuring that they left the Music City with nothing less than two points.
And though it wasn't the start they were looking for -- Martin Erat's goal just 39 seconds into the game was a slight setback -- they didn't waver from their plan. Given the string of miserable luck that preceded last night's game in Nashville, it would have been easy to start thinking a different way, Dorsett said, but that mentality wasn't an option.
"We didn't get down on ourselves when they scored early, we just stuck to it," Dorsett told BlueJackets.com after practice today. "We kept grinding away and played them really hard. It could've gone the other way with them scoring early and we could've let that take the wind out of our sails, but our guys pushed through it."
Read the full story from practice today inside this blog post.