Wrapping Up The Week

Friday, 09.07.2012 / 1:15 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

"Player practices," or whatever you wish to call them, can sometimes be unpredictable. You're never sure who's going to be there, and it's hard to be certain what the players actually get out of them.

It's even more difficult for those covering the team, because you're not sure if these are just skates to get the guys' legs going again, or if they're actually thinking about Oct. 13 when they embark on a 3-on-1 against a helpless, unsuspecting local fill-in goalie.

But after spending a week around some of the Blue Jackets players at the Ohio Health Ice Haus, it's pretty clear these guys are gearing up, and they're doing so together. They can't stress enough that this is a close-knit team, one that goes about its business together and tackles all obstacles ensemble.

Did I think I'd find this out in early September? Not a chance, but I'm pleased to report that the epicenter of optimism around the club can be found in the locker room.

Today's week-ending skate was energetic and, like Thursday, featured a lengthy scrimmage to round out the session. Those not in attendance today were Artem Anisimov, Derek Dorsett and Sergei Bobrovsky from the Blue Jackets, while Toronto's Dave Steckel and the Flyers' Jody Shelley opted to remain off the ice, as well.

Before we say goodbye to another week (and get another day closer to the 2012-13 NHL season), I'll jot down some brief observations from the Friday practice:

-- Vinny Prospal may be 37 years of age - and that's by no means a knock on him - but I'm convinced this guy could play until he's 40. He looks fresh on the ice, rejuvenated for another season, and his unique/charismatic/47 flavors of awesome goal celebrations were back in full force this week.

-- Derick Brassard has been flying all week. He trained hard this summer back in Ottawa/Montreal with former teammate Marc Methot and some other friends. He's been shooting the puck a lot in these practices, and has shown that he's not shy about driving the puck to the net.

-- Significant jump in Cam Atkinson's stride since arriving in town yesterday. I enjoy the frequent reminder that he has one of the most underrated and downright scary wrist shots I've seen. And as a goalie, it makes me thankful that my regular opponents don't possess that skill level.

-- Speaking of goalies, the Blue Jackets goaltending duo has rotated days on the ice this week, with the opposite net being filled by a local netminder. Steve Mason was between the pipes today and, much like he has all week, looked pretty solid and made a lot of saves. His much-improved physical conditioning has been a hot topic of late, and no one's more ready than Mason to make it happen on the ice.

-- John Moore has really stood out. He's been active, aggressive and smart with the puck on his stick and you can tell he's really worked hard on his positioning. Moore has always been an adept transporter of the puck, but now looks poised to take another step forward in his development.

-- It's great to see the veterans leading the way during these skates. R.J. Umberger, James Wisniewski, Brandon Dubinsky, Adrian Aucoin, Prospal, etc. have been important pieces of the organized practices and making sure every player gets something out of them.

-- I'm starting to wonder if Aucoin knows what it feels like to miss the net. He took two shots in today's scrimmage. He scored both times.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 2 2 1 0 3
M. Calvert 2 2 0 3 2
R. Johansen 2 1 1 -1 2
B. Dubinsky 2 0 2 0 2
D. Savard 2 0 2 1 2
B. Jenner 2 0 2 -1 2
D. MacKenzie 2 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 2 1 0 1 1
A. Anisimov 2 0 1 -1 1
C. Atkinson 2 0 1 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 1 0 .905 3.00
 
Columbusbluejackets.com is the official Web site of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets and columbusbluejackets.com are trademarks of The Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club.  NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.  Copyright © 2009 Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club and the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved. View the Columbus Blue Jackets Privacy Policy AdChoices NHL.com Terms of Service
Please use the feedback form if you have any recommendations or comments.