POSTED ON Friday, 11.02.2012 / 4:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

The calendar has turned to November, and with that, comes a bit of reflection.

Springfield Falcons head coach Brad Larsen knew the month of October would be important for his hockey club. They had a solid training camp and got many things accomplished, but starting the year on the right note was huge for his team.

I think we can safely say the Falcons took care of business and took advantage of a home-heavy October, going 5-1-1 in the season's first month and taking hold of first place in the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference.

Their next big task is to capitalize on October's momentum and keep it going with a difficult schedule in November. After playing all but one of their games inside the MassMutual Center last month, the Falcons play five home games and six road games this month.


Follow the action on today's GAME DAY blog by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 3:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Curtis McElhinney is making an early case for comeback player of the year in the American Hockey League, mere months after the word "retirement" crept into his mind.

The veteran netminder has been one of the many bright spots for the first-place Springfield Falcons, who lead the Northeast Division as well as the AHL's Eastern Conference through seven games. He was named the league's Goaltender of the Month for October in a release issued by the AHL this afternoon.

Such recognition for McElhinney comes less than a year after major abdominal surgery that caused him to miss most of the 2011-12 season, and forced him to legitimately ponder life after hockey.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Thursday, 11.01.2012 / 11:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had a lot of people ask me "how have the Springfield Falcons been so good?"

It's a legitimate question. Things have changed out there, for sure, but a lot has remained the same. Brad Larsen was elevated from his assistant coach position to take over as the lead guy, they made some free agent additions over the summer namely captain Ryan Craig), and had some reinforcements arrive via assignment from the Blue Jackets in September.

Larsen told me before training camp started: "Sure, we have a good team on paper. But everybody has a good team this year. The league is stacked with talent."

I'm not saying he downplayed his team's chances for success, but on the other hand, he makes a great point. The American Hockey League is on center stage right now and several top prospects are playing for their affiliates.

On this first day of November, perhaps we can try to answer some of the questions I've been asked.


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.30.2012 / 4:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today



COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There is a very good reason why playing professional sports is referred to as "living the dream."

Mainly because that's exactly what is: almost averse to reality, an accomplishment so rare we pay good money to watch those who have achieved it. The National Hockey League is far and away the greatest collection of hockey talent on the planet, but perhaps one of the most passionate collections of hockey "lifers" rests within our city limits.

If you grew up in this city like I have, The Chiller name is synonymous with hockey and childhood memories. I put my first pair of ice skates on at their Dublin location, and showed off my average skating on that very sheet of ice several times during grade-school field trips.

Back when the Fairgrounds Coliseum wasn't available to host Columbus Chill playoff games, the team held its postseason home games at The Chiller in Dublin. They did their best to pack over 1,000 people in there and I was in attendance, with my dad, face pressed against the glass in an attempt to heckle the Wheeling Nailers or whoever they were playing.

How could I forget one of my middle school classmates trying a triple lutz and breaking his nose in the Ice Haus? (No, I won't divulge his identity. But his name rhymes with Justin).

Those were the days, I tell you. And for 171 teams filled with hockey-crazy adults in Columbus, those days happily live on.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.30.2012 / 3:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


Hello again, Blue Jackets fans! We're back with another Trivia Tuesday installment, and as usual, we're going to try and stump you with Blue Jackets trivia. 

For this week's question, we're going to test your knowledge of CBJ birthdays.

Let's keep it short and sweet this week, shall we? Same rules apply: fill out the form, hit the "submit" button at the bottom and you're off and running. Randomly-selected winners get an awesome Blue Jackets prize, and the distinct honor of knowing they got the question correct.

Here's the question:

This player was a first-round pick of the Blue Jackets within the last five years, has worn a few different jersey numbers in his hockey career, and will be celebrating his 22nd birthday in a few weeks. Who is he?

Enter for YOUR chance to win by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.29.2012 / 10:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

GO Buckeyes!

Image credit: Ohio State University athletics

Blue Jackets television analyst Bill Davidge is one of the most plugged-in sources for college hockey information, and as a former head coach at Miami University, he's got a keen eye for the happenings around the game.

Davidge checks in here with his latest college hockey update for the CBJ Today, bringing us up to speed on the first week of action for Ohio's collegiate squads.

Game 1: No. 5 Miami at No. 6 Michigan
Two high-powered teams split first CCHA series

On Friday night, the sixth-ranked Wolverines scored two third-period goals and salvaged a 4-2 victory over Miami. But Michigan didn’t have the same late-game magic on Saturday — the RedHawks tallied three third-period goals of their own in less than three minutes' time to win 4-3 and walk away with a weekend split.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>
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POSTED ON Sunday, 10.28.2012 / 12:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

The Springfield Falcons conclude their first "three in three" weekend of the season this afternoon at the MassMutual Center. They're looking to get back in the win column against the unpredictable Portland Pirates, who have been quite the mixed back so far this season. Portland is the highest-scoring club in the AHL (averaging almost five goals per game), but also holds the league's worst team goals-against average.

After Paul Dainton's terrific performance last night in a shootout loss to Bridgeport, will coach Brad Larsen go with the hot hand or turn back to regular starter Curtis McElhinney?

You can find that information and much more in our Falcons game day blog.


Continue reading the GAME DAY blog by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.27.2012 / 3:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

The Springfield Falcons are off to a 4-1-0 start, and are leading the AHL's Northeast Division after five games. They've given up a league-low seven (7) goals in those five games, thanks to terrific goaltending from Curtis McElhinney and solid team defense in front of him.

Following a 3-0 win over the Providence Bruins last night at the Dunkin Donuts Center, the Falcons continue their first "three in three" weekend of the season tonight at home. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are in town for a Saturday night showdown at the MassMutual Center, and are coming off their first loss of the season last night.

You can follow all the action throughout the day and during the game on the BlueJackets.com game day blog.

Continue reading the GAME DAY blog by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Friday, 10.26.2012 / 4:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.25.2012 / 3:01 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

When you're leading the division and adversity strikes, suddenly, every game's importance hits another level.

The Oshawa Generals got to the summit of the Ontario Hockey League's East Division using a balanced attack, some stellar play by their captain, and quality goaltending from a netminder who needed a strong season. Loaded for bear with several top young players, the Generals looked to be in solid position to remain in contention all season.

They got their first bump in the road over the weekend.

In a game against the Ottawa 67's, Oshawa forward Scott Laughton (a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers) delivered a dangerous hit to the head of Ottawa forward Daniel Walsh, who had his back to the play and never saw it coming.

Laughton was handed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct -- meaning he will likely face disciplinary action from the OHL, which has really started to crack down on hits to the head in recent years. Not only is Laughton a significant contributor for the Generals, he's one of those guys that can get the bench ignited with his play.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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