POSTED ON Monday, 09.16.2013 / 10:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today


If you ask James Wisniewski, it wasn't so much the finish on Ryan Murray's game-winning goal on Sunday night as it was the play that made it all happen.

Wisniewski got a birds-eye view of it as Murray's partner on defense, too. There was a 19-year-old kid in his first NHL game and in his second week of competition following six months of shoulder surgery rehabilitation, and his first assignment was to defend the likes of Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Beau Bennett for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After a frantic start that saw the Penguins score in the opening minute, the Blue Jackets settled in and Murray felt his game improved as the game grew older.

The smart read-and-react play by Murray late in overtime after Malkin turned the puck over at the offensive blue line was impressive, Wisniewski said, but the overall body of work was even more encouraging.

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POSTED ON Monday, 09.16.2013 / 9:15 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

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POSTED ON Monday, 09.16.2013 / 8:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

 

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POSTED ON Sunday, 09.15.2013 / 1:30 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

The Blue Jackets made a late lineup change for tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena: Matt Calvert is out with a "sore groin," coach Todd Richards announced after today's practice sessions.

Calvert was originally slated to play the team's first exhibition game, but Richards made the change today after it was deemed Calvert would be better suited to rest the groin rather than push it early in camp. In his place, Broc Little will dress for his first NHL game and skate alongside Artem Anisimov and Marian Gaborik.

Talk about getting thrown into the fire, right? But Richards isn't too concerned - Little has been a consistent offensive producer and had success in Europe, and he's looking forward to seeing what the kid can do playing with "two pretty good players."

"If this is Game 72, he's in the lineup," Richards said. "But this is an exhibition."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 09.15.2013 / 8:00 AM

 

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POSTED ON Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 7:00 PM

Another busy day at Nationwide Arena, but it was a blast.

We started a cool, crisp Saturday morning off with a crowd wrapped around the building waiting to get into the OhioHealth Ice Haus for on-ice practices and a scrimmage on the main ice. It was a great start to a fun day that saw a lot of storylines start to take shape - and we'll get more in-depth with those further down in the notebook.

First things first: the rosters are out for tomorrow's preseason opener against the Penguins, which is a 6 p.m. start at Nationwide Arena. Curtis McElhinney is the starting goaltender for the Blue Jackets and though a starter hasn't been named for Pittsburgh, the Penguins are bringing Marc-Andre Fleury (expected starter) and Jeff Zatkoff to Columbus.

There is a host of veterans dressing for the Blue Jackets, and you can find the entire playing roster at bluejackets.com/trainingcamp.

Alright, let's kick off the notebook...

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POSTED ON Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 11:30 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

You don't need to remind Ryan Murray -- he knows what's at stake.

This is his first NHL training camp and he just played his first competitive hockey games in nine months, but that's not deterring him trying to crack the Blue Jackets' opening night roster. Having to miss last year's World Junior tournament was punishment enough, and Murray isn't going to let a chance at the NHL go by without a fight.

He's in the mix for one of the Blue Jackets' last two spots on the blueline, a competition that includes Cody Goloubef, David Savard, Ilari Melart and Tim Erixon. All five guys are able to be sent to the Springfield Falcons, and though Murray's dying for a taste of pro hockey however it comes, he's not shy in stating that his goal is to play in Columbus.

Rehabilitation was a long, arduous process after his shoulder surgery in January but it motivated him to have a strong summer in workouts and be in the best condition possible once camp began.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 7:00 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

 

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POSTED ON Friday, 09.13.2013 / 6:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

Well, there is certainly a lot to digest and sort through after two formal days of Blue Jackets Training Camp presented by OhioHealth. Oh, and there's an exhibition game less than 48 hours away. No problem, right?

After two days and four practice sessions split between the OhioHealth Ice Haus and Nationwide Arena, we've had the chance to see a lot of players running a lot of different drills and following along with some cool storylines, as well. Every day, we'll check back here on the CBJ Today blog with our thoughts, anecdotes and observations after the dust settles.

There's a chance that these notebooks may occasionally run very long. Actually, there's a really good chance, but I'll try and keep the Friday edition nice and tidy since we've had some good discussion on the live chats, too.

Let's have a look at some of today's notes...

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POSTED ON Friday, 09.13.2013 / 11:30 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today



Kerby Rychel is used to proving doubters wrong.

He's had to face questions about being too small to make it to the NHL, whether he could score enough goals to keep a spot or playing in the shadow of his father, former NHL tough guy Warren Rychel. Playing in his hometown of Windsor, Ont. in front of scouts and hockey types over the years hasn't fazed him, either, and it has all helped him prepare for his first professional training camp.

The Blue Jackets have high hopes for the kid, too, as evidenced by selecting him 19th overall in this year's NHL Draft in New Jersey. They like his willingness to compete, go to the "hard areas" to score and his commitment to playing a pro-style game.

As camp gets into full swing this week in Columbus, those are the things Rychel wants to prove to the Blue Jackets coaching staff.

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