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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.10.2012 / 11:45 PM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

What do you get when Stinger and his Blue Jackets pals hang out at Nationwide Arena? In this case, it's a party that was "Gangnam Style" from the start.

There are plenty of CBJ cameos in this parody video, can you spot them all? Comment and let us know what you think!

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.10.2012 / 10:10 AM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

NOTE: This is the weekly column of BlueJackets.com writer Rob Mixer. Follow Rob on Twitter by clicking here, and be sure to check out his regular updates on the CBJ Today blog.

Thankfully, I stopped doing the "Gangnam Style" dance at my desk long enough to write this column.

And I hope you now have that horrifying mental image wiped out. My apologies.

Ahem.

In just a few days, the Springfield Falcons are beginning a new chapter.

There is a lot to look forward to. Brad Larsen heads up a young, energized coaching staff that shares a lot of the same beliefs and philosophies as Todd Richards' staff in Columbus. The Falcons coaches have all played in the American Hockey League, and are fully aware of what their players are going to experience on and off the ice.

Blue Jackets fans will be paying close attention to this intriguing group of players, in large part due to the number of familiar names that occupy the roster: Ryan Johansen, Cam Atkinson, John Moore, Matt Calvert, David Savard, and a host of others are going to be key contributors to any success the Falcons enjoy.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.8.2012 / 12:30 PM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

It's probably a bit premature to label an early-October hockey game as a "heavyweight showdown," but Friday night's matchup between Oshawa and Kingston had all the makings of a must-see.

On one hand, there were the surprising Frontenacs, picked by many to occupy the lower regions of the Ontario Hockey League standings and struggle to win on a consistent basis. Then you have the Generals, a talent-laden club that is looking to finally steer the ship in the right direction and compete for a championship.

Two different paths and two unique situations, but they had a thread of commonality on Friday: both teams wanted to win the game and continue their torrid October paces in the OHL.

General Motors Centre in Oshawa was the place to be: a couple of hockey clubs playing very well on a big holiday weekend in Canada with plenty of emotion in the building.

And it was quite the hockey game to marry with the atmosphere.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.8.2012 / 10:00 AM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

After a self-proclaimed "chaotic" loss to the Providence Bruins last week to open the preseason, Brad Larsen said his main concern was making sure that everyone was on the same page.

Even though many of his regular players were out of the lineup that night, Larsen didn't like some of the systematic and structural mistakes made by the Falcons. But headed into this past weekend with more practice time under their belts (and a lineup that more closely resembled what we may see on opening night), Springfield had a chance to fine-tune the engines a couple more times.

Their preseason finale weekend consisted of a Friday night contest against the Worcester Sharks at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, followed up by a home-ice tilt with Providence on Saturday.

Both games featured various different storylines, but there was one constant: Jonathan Audy-Marchessault was on fire, scoring five goals on the weekend including a hat trick in Friday night's 4-3 win over the Sharks. He seemed to be around every loose puck, and converted on a few nice set-ups from line mate Ryan Johansen, as well.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Friday, 10.5.2012 / 10:00 AM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today


WHAT: Springfield Falcons (0-1-0) vs. Worcester Sharks (1-0-0)

WHERE: MassMutual Center, Springfield, Mass.

WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m.

RADIO: n/a

TV: n/a


RUNDOWN

Yes, it was the first exhibition game -- but that doesn't mean Falcons coach Brad Larsen should lower his expectations. He made no bones about it when talking about the 4-1 loss to Providence on Wednesday night. He told Mike Kelly on FalconsTV that some of his players showed that they are picking up the details on their structure and style of play, but other plays haven't yet displayed that they're up to speed.

Will those things come along as more games are played and familiarity develops among the group? Absolutely, but time's running short as the preseason winds down and the regular-season opener looms in just a week's time. Springfield will use tonight's exhibition contest vs. Worcester as another tuneup; the Sharks are a solid club that won their preseason opener and have been bolstered by some assignments from the parent club.

The Falcons are expected to ice a more experienced lineup than they did Wednesday night against Providence, meaning more of the "regular" players should see some ice time. That could mean we'll see some possible line combinations put together as well as defense pairs, which is typically the case during home-ice preseason games.

One caveat is the back-to-back set that begins with tonight's game. Tomorrow is another home game, so Larsen can be selective with the lineup.

Without question, Larsen's primary focus tonight will be evaluating the progress of the group and particularly those he's going to rely on this year. He told me earlier this week that he and assistants Nolan Pratt and Jared Bednar have spent training camp making sure that their style of play is implemented and everyone's on the same page -- and they plan on using the remainder of the preseason schedule to figure out who needs more time to do so.


WHAT TO WATCH

I'll be keeping an eye on the guys who Springfield is counting on to be impact players: Ryan Johansen, Cam Atkinson, John Moore, Dalton Smith and others. While it's a preseason game, this is still an important opportunity to make an impression on the coaching staff and earn a spot high in the Falcons lineup.

Also of interest: how they line up. Who will play with who? Which tandem will form some instant chemistry as a defense pairing? Exhibition season is when some of those questions get answered, and it will be fun to see them play out.


ROSTER

Here is the Falcons lineup for tonight's game:

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson

Ryan Craig - Andrew Joudrey - Cody Bass

Sean Collins - Michael Chaput - Jake Hansen

Dalton Smith - Nathan Moon - Tim Spencer


Nick Holden
- Austin Madaisky

John Moore - Cody Goloubef

Greg Amadio - Will Weber


Paul Dainton

Mike Clemente

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.4.2012 / 11:00 AM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

The weekend before Canadian Thanksgiving is always a busy time in junior hockey, and it's no different for Ryan Murray and Boone Jenner.

Both players have been off to impressive starts with their clubs in Everett and Oshawa, but it's a double bonus for Jenner because the Generals are currently the first-place team in the OHL's East Division -- and have the best point total in the entire league.

Murray and the Silvertips are off to a slow start in the standings, but the Blue Jackets' first-round pick (2012) has not missed a beat despite getting a late start on training camp. The 19-year-old defenseman has put up four points (one goal, three assists) for a club that has struggled mightily in the offensive end of the rink lately, while playing upwards of 25 minutes a night on the blueline.

That's his game, though: an all-around defenseman that moves the puck of trouble and shuts down opponents with excellent positioning. Not flashy, not overly exciting -- but at the end of the night, you know the kid has done his job.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.3.2012 / 1:55 PM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

WHAT: Springfield Falcons (0-0-0) vs. Providence Bruins (0-0-0)

WHERE: New England Sports Center, Marlborough, Mass.

WHEN: Tonight, 7:05 p.m.

RADIO: n/a

TV: n/a


RUNDOWN
The Springfield Falcons have unveiled a brand-new slogan for the 2012-13 season: "Hatched and Hungry," and it fits the team perfectly. Last season, the Falcons saw the development of several prominent youngsters take a promising step forward as the club got a taste of a late-season playoff run.

Ultimately, they came up short and weren't able to qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs, but there was a sense of optimism born in the strong showings by their key players. Cam Atkinson had a stellar campaign, scoring 29 goals and participating in the AHL All-Star weekend before being promoted to the Blue Jackets later in the year. David Savard was a force on the blueline and the team's veterans were solid, dependable resources for the kids.

Most of that group returns for the 2012-13 season, but there's a new look behind the bench. After serving as an assistant coach for two seasons, 35-year-old Brad Larsen is now the Falcons head coach and has spent training camp trying to implement a hard-working, honest culture around the club. Larsen hired Jared Bednar, former head coach of the Peoria Rivermen, to join him as an assistant alongside Nolan Pratt, who had a 16-year playing career of his own.


Continue reading this story (and see tonight's roster) by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.3.2012 / 11:00 AM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today



Boone Jenner isn't the best skater in the world.

Heck, he might not even be the best skater on his team.

Nor is he the purest of goal scorers. But when has the puck on his stick at a crucial point in a hockey game, it's as if there isn't another player you would rather have in that spot.

Jenner isn't the sturdiest kid or the most physical player on the rink, but when he opens a can on the opposition, it can make your keyboard tremble as you're watching it repeatedly on YouTube.

I guess there's no other way to put it: Boone Jenner simply has "it."


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.2.2012 / 2:00 PM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

Is it really Tuesday again?

Yikes, the last week really flew by. But one good thing about Tuesday is that it's trivia time on BlueJackets.com and the CBJ Today blog, and you have the opportunity to win some awesome Blue Jackets prizes.

Sound pretty good? Alright, let's get it started.

Let's get the usual disclaimer out of the way: same rules as always. Fill out the form completely and hit "submit," then we'll handle the rest. You will be entered into the pool of entrants and we'll randomly select the winner.

And now for the most important part: the question...

Q: This former Blue Jackets defenseman was nicknamed the "Woonsocket Rocket" for his booming shot from the point, and he also recorded a hat trick in a CBJ sweater. Who is he?


Click here to submit YOUR official entry form!

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.2.2012 / 11:20 AM ET
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer) / CBJ Today

Ryan Murray admitted last week that, while he was happy and excited to be back in Everett with his junior club, winning some games would make it a whole lot better.

He can now check that item off the list -- however, it's only the first step for the Silvertips, who have a tall ladder to climb up the division standings.

They did themselves no favors in the opening weeks of the season. Everett was swept at home by Prince George to begin 2012-13, including a heartbreaking loss in the series finale. The Silvertips held a 6-3 lead in the third period but lost in a shootout.

Murray said the shootout loss was the toughest to take, because he felt the team played a solid game for 50 minutes before the Cougars started their rally. The mistakes compounded themselves and before they knew it, Everett was looking at overtime in a 6-6 tie. All the work they had put in to get to that point was erased by a brutal stretch in the third period, which Murray said was the hardest part.


Continue reading this story by clicking here >>

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