Consistent effort key to winning tonight

Monday, 01.28.2013 / 1:30 PM
By Staci Pawlak - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today



The team's "identity" was the buzzword around the locker room this morning. Ever since they returned to Nationwide Arena this season, several of the Blue Jackets along with coach Todd Richards have talked about their identity being a hard-working, grind-it-out team that never gives up.

Now, they have to prove it. Despite losing to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, they exhibited a solid effort from start to finish that may have been their most consistent game of the season. They have a chance to rebound and continue along the path of improvement tonight against the Dallas Stars.

Richards said tonight’s game will be “huge,” and the result will be a testament to the direction the team is headed in.

“Our motivation has to be every single night – this is what we have to do, this is our identity,” Richards said after the morning skate today.

There are very few off-days in the NHL, especially in a shortened season when four games a week is the norm, and the Blue Jackets will need to find a way to build off the good things displayed against the Blackhawks if they want to get back on the winning track in short order.

Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno said the responsibility of finding a way to win falls on the shoulders of every guy in the locker room.

“We understand that it’s going to be a complete effort by all of us," Foligno told BlueJackets.com. "There aren’t any nights that we can take off."

Foligno skated alongside Ryan Johansen and Vinny Prospal at today’s morning skate – a slight change from Saturday’s line combinations that probably has something to do with the insertion of Colton Gillies into the lineup. The 6-foot-4 Gillies adds a physical force to the Blue Jackets’ lineup as well as a gritty style of play, especially on the forecheck.

Richards said the decision to put Gillies in the lineup is all part of trying to get everyone involved in their systems of play. While the team has improved their transition play from defensive to offensive, Richards said he wants a more established forecheck as well as getting more pucks to the net.

If the team wants to carry the “grind-it-out-for-the-win” badge, they will need to put the puck in the back of the net more often. Foligno said that success will come with the whole team putting in a consistent effort for a full 60 minutes.

“That’s the focus right now – coming out with a great start like we had against Chicago, trying to carry that through the whole game, and just playing a real solid ‘team’ game,” Foligno said.

“We showed something on Saturday, and now we gotta show something tonight,” Richards said.

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 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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