GAME BLOG: Blue Jackets at Ducks
11:40 P.M. -- SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: It was a scoreless second period at the Honda Center, but the Blue Jackets got better as the period grew older. Bobrovsky only had to make five saves in the second period but a few were of high quality, and at the other end, Hiller stood tall and kept the Blue Jackets at bay with a few solid stops of his own. For the majority of this game, the Blue Jackets have done what they wanted to do: keep their feet moving in the offensive zone, work the puck in deep below the goal line and get shots through to Hiller. Columbus (19 shots) already has more shots on goal in the first 40 minutes tonight than it did in all of Saturday's game, and the Anaheim defense has done a lot of skating so far. They'll need more of that in the third period to keep the Ducks on their heels.
10:50 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: If not for a 21-second span in the opening period, the Blue Jackets might have played one of their better road periods of the season. They certainly didn't look like a team on a five-game road losing streak in the first 20 minutes, and came out flying on the forecheck and creating chances left and right. They got an early one from Vinny Prospal, who took a shot from Mark Letestu off the chest and chopped in the rebound for a 1-0 Columbus lead. But Anaheim took advantage of two Blue Jackets turnovers; the first after Nikita Nikitin joined the rush while shorthanded, leaving Peter Holland on a clear-cut breakaway out of the penalty box. Anaheim's second goal in 21 seconds came on a rebound as Ryan Getzlaf drove the net, sliding the puck between a pair of diving defensemen and behind Sergei Bobrovsky. But the Columbus netminder came up big with 51 seconds to go in the period, absolutely robbing Kyle Palmieri on a point-blank chance in front of the net. It was a good start but clearly not good enough, and going forward, the Blue Jackets can't turn the puck over in critical areas like they did in the first period.
7:00 P.M. -- Todd Richards addressed the media this afternoon and updated Anisimov's situation as well as Dubinsky and Wisniewski. Check out the full interview on Jackets TV:
6:30 P.M. -- Blue Jackets right wing Jared Boll scored the opening goal against the Coyotes and added an assist on Derek MacKenzie's tying goal later in that game. He chatted with Bob McElligott about facing the Ducks on Jackets TV:
5:30 P.M. -- It's time for the game day preview on Jackets TV with Bob McElligott and assistant coach Dan Hinote. They talk about tonight's game, the opponent and the impact of having Wisniewski back:
5:00 P.M. -- Wisniewski took some time after practice to talk about the experience of becoming a father, getting back into game action tonight and more. Catch the interview right here on Jackets TV:
4:00 P.M. -- BLUE JACKETS LINEUP: Here we present the projected lineup for the Blue Jackets this evening. James Wisniewski, who became a father to daughter Jamie Marie over the weekend, is back with the club and will play tonight.
Calvert - Anisimov* - Foligno
Collins - Brassard - Umberger
Dorsett - Letestu - Prospal
Gillies - MacKenzie - Boll
Tyutin - Nikitin
Johnson - Wisniewski
Moore - Aucoin
* Anisimov is considered a game-time decision. If he can't play, look for Nick Drazenovic to play in his place.
3:30 P.M. -- BACK ON THE CASE: The Blue Jackets will start Sergei Bobrovsky in goal tonight against the Ducks.
3:15 P.M. -- We've got lineups, folks. Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register provides the Ducks' lineup for tonight's game:
Beleskey - Getzlaf - Perry
Ryan - Bonino - Selanne
Cogliano - Koivu - Winnik
Maroon - Holland - Palmieri
Souray - Beauchemin
Sbisa - Lydman
Allen - Lovejoy
2:30 P.M. -- MORNING SKATE UPDATE: We've got word from the Honda Center that both Cam Atkinson and Artem Anisimov are taking part in the Blue Jackets' morning skate. We'll have more information after coach Todd Richards addresses the media.
1:30 P.M. -- An update from Anaheim: the Ducks will start Jonas Hiller in goal tonight against the Blue Jackets, which comes as a bit of a surprise with Viktor Fash on an 8-0-0 run right now.
12:00 P.M. -- GM UPDATE: We are able to confirm that, as of this morning, the plan is for new Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen to join the team in Detroit on Wednesday. His work visa is expected to be finalized shortly.
11:30 A.M. -- Good morning, and happy Presidents' Day to you all! Thanks for joining this holiday edition of the BlueJackets.com game day blog. We're a couple hours away from the team taking the ice for their morning skate at the Honda Center, but there's plenty to cover in the meantime.
Here's what we know: the Ducks are riding a four-game winning streak and are sitting at 23 points (11-2-1), closing in on the Chicago Blackhawks and the top spot in the NHL. Teemu Selanne (15 points) and Saku Koivu (14) lead the Ducks in scoring, and they're plenty an uptempo, in-your-face brand of hockey under second-year coach Bruce Boudreau.
Let's have a little fun to kick off today's blog, shall we? Maybe you've heard of the "Harlem Shake"...it's kind of a thing right now. With the help of Stinger, we put our own Blue Jackets twist on it: