Weekly Report: Jackets Open Three-Game Road Trip This Week
Columbus enters February action after posting best month in team history with 8-4-1 mark in January
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
DATE/OPPONENT - ARENA/TIME TV/RADIO
Wed., Feb. 1 at Calgary Flames, Pengrowth Saddledome,10 p.m.
Thu., Feb. 2 at Edmonton Oilers, Rexall Place, 9 p.m.
FSN/ WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM
FSN-Fox Sports Net, WBNS-AM (1460), WWCD-FM (101.1); Times are Eastern
THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 to 90 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Jan. 31-Feb. 6 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 3:30 p.m. (Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary)… Wed. – 11:30 a.m. (Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary)… Thu. – 11:30 a.m. (Rexall Place, Edmonton)… Fri. – No Practice Scheduled… Sat. – 10 a.m. (GM Place, Vancouver)… Sun. – 10:30 a.m. (GM Place, Vancouver)… Mon. – 11:30 a.m. (GM Place, Vancouver). Practice times are local and subject to change. Only practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.
ROSTER REPORT: Jan. 30 – Assigned C Dan Fritsche to Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Recalled C Ben Simon from Syracuse (AHL)… Jan. 24 – Activated C Manny Malhotra and D Luke Richardson off Injured Reserve.
INJURY REPORT: D Bryan Berard (lower back, Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota) is day-to-day… C Mike Rupp (broken foot, Jan. 16 vs. NY Rangers) is expected to miss four to six weeks.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Calgary Flames – 30-16-5, 65 pts. (1st, Northwest Division)… Third of four meetings this season… Jackets are 9-8-1 in the all-time series, including 3-6-0 on the road… Calgary has won both games this season, 3-1 at Columbus on Oct. 7 and 2-1 at home on Nov. 3… Head Coach: Darryl Sutter… Players to Watch – RW Jarome Iginla (23-16-39, 10 PPG, 4 GWG in 51 games)… D Dion Phaneuf (12-21-33, 11 PPG, 5 GWG in 51 games)… G Miikka Kiprusoff (27-13-5, 2.26 GAA, .915 SV%, 6 SO in 46 games)… Edmonton Oilers – 28-18-6, 62 pts. (3rd, Northwest Division)… Third of four meetings this season… Columbus is 2-12-4 in the all-time series, including 1-8-1 on the road… Oilers have won both meetings this season, 5-1 at home on Nov. 1 and 3-1 at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 11… Head Coach: Craig MacTavish… Players to Watch – LW Ryan Smyth (22-21-43, 11 PPG in 46 games)… C Shawn Horcoff (16-39-55, 3 SHG, 3 GWG in 50 games)… G Jussi Markkanen (15-11-5, 3.11 GAA, .882 SV%, in 33 games).
WEEK IN REVIEW: Jan. 24 – at Blue Jackets 6, Vanvouver 5: Trevor Letowski scored with 4:37 left in the third period to lift the Blue Jackets past his former Vancouver teammates. Columbus held 2-0, 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 leads throughout the game, only to see the Canucks battle back to tie the score prior to Letowski's game-winner. Jan Hrdina scored two goals, while Bryan Berard notched 1-2-3 and David Vyborny added 0-3-3 to lead the Blue Jackets, who went 4-of-9 on the power play and out-shot Vancouver 43 to 33… Jan. 27 – at Blue Jackets 4, Minnesota 3: Columbus scored three third period goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit and snap Minnesota's franchise-record five-game winning streak. The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead on Ron Hainsey's first goal with the club at 4:25 of the second period before the Wild stormed back with three goals in a span of 4:36, including a pair by Todd White. Bryan Berard's power play goal 2:24 into the third period cut the Minnesota lead to 3-2 before Rick Nash notched the equalizer at the 10:37 mark. Sergei Fedorov tallied the game-winner with 6:33 left in the third. Pascal Leclaire made 25 saves to earn the win, while Dwayne Roloson stopped 21 in goal for the Wild… Jan. 28 – at Blue Jackets 4, Nashville 3: The Blue Jackets earned their second come-from-behind win in as many nights as they overcame a 3-2 deficit to snap a three-game losing streak against their Central Division rivals. Columbus jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by David Vyborny and Rick Nash before the Predators responded with three consecutive goals. Duvie Westcott's shorthanded goal with 2:00 left in the second period tied the game at 3-3 and Vyborny's second of the game at 18:37 of the third was the game-winner. Nashville held a slim 27 to 24 edge in shots and converted 3-of-9 on the power play compared to Columbus' 1-of-3 effort with the man advantage.
DAVID VYBORNY NAMED NHL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: RW David Vyborny was named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for Jan. 23-29 after leading the Blue Jackets to a 3-0-0 record last week, tallying a team-high 2-5-7 with multi-point games in all three outings. He had 0-3-3 in a 6-5 win over Vancouver on Jan. 24, 0-2-2 in a 4-3 win over Minnesota on Jan. 27 and 2-0-2 in a 4-3 win over Nashville on Jan. 28. Vyborny has racked up 8-8-16 over the past 11 games, leading Columbus to an 8-3-0 record during that span, and leads the club in goals, assists and points with 15-23-38 in 50 games. He is the first Blue Jacket to win the award this season and the first player in team history to win it twice (Feb. 23-29, 2004). The other Blue Jackets who have won the award are goaltenders Marc Denis (Dec. 4-10, 2000) and Ron Tugnutt (Mar. 12-18, 2001).
A LOOK AT THE RESURGENCY OF THE BLUE JACKETS: Columbus has gone 15-12-2 in its last 29 games after beginning the season 5-18-0 in the first 23, including a season-high seven-game losing streak from Nov. 11-25… The Blue Jackets have gone 13-11-2 and averaged 3.16 goals per game in their last 26 games, compared to a 7-19-0 record and 1.85 goals per game average in their first 26 outings… The Blue Jackets have scored at least three goals in a game 26 times, including 19 in the last 29 and 15 of the last 21… Columbus is 8-1-0 in its last nine games at Nationwide Arena.
JANUARY TO REMEMBER: The Blue Jackets posted an 8-4-1 record in January, marking the winningest month in team history (previous mark was 7-6-2 in January 2003)… Columbus scored 43 goals in the 13 games (3.31 per game), including four or more in eight games… The club's power play unit went 18-of-66 (27.3 percent) during the month… The Blue Jackets won six games in January in which they fell behind including three games in which they overcame third period deficits… The top line of LW Rick Nash (9-7-16), C Sergei Fedorov (4-12-16) and RW Nikolai Zherdev (4-9-13) led the club in scoring during the month, while D Bryan Berard chipped in 6-7-13 in 12 games before missing the Jan. 29 contest vs. Nashville with a lower back injury.
NEWS & NOTES: Columbus has scored five of its seven shorthanded goals vs. Nashville, which is tied for the fourth-most by one team vs. another in the NHL in the past 60 years… D Bryan Berard scored his 12th goal of the season vs. Minnesota on Jan. 27 to set a new club record for goals in a season by a defenseman (11 – Jamie Heward, 2000-01)… C Sergei Fedorov has tallied 4-12-16 in his last 13 games… The Blue Jackets have scored 34 power play goals in 34 games (34-of-188/18.0 pct.) since Fedorov joined the club on Nov. 15 compared to 10 in 18 games (10-of-108/9.3 pct.) prior to the trade… D Rostislav Klesla registered career highs for assists and points in a game when he tallied 0-3-3 vs. Nashville on Jan. 28… C Jan Hrdina has collected 3-9-12 in his last 10 games, including points in his last three (2-3-5). He has also notched 4-13-17 in his last 14 games at Nationwide Arena.
BLUE JACKETS VIEWING PARTY AT BUFFALO WILD WINGS ON THURSDAY: Fans can attend the next Blue Jackets Watch Party on Thursday at the Buffalo Wild Wings in German Village when Columbus takes on the Edmonton Oilers. Game time is set for 9 p.m. QFM96's Archie will be on hand to host the festivities that will include beer specials courtesy of Bud Light and various trivia contests and prize giveaways.
"OFFICE SPACE", BACK PACKS AND FAMILY NIGHT ON TAP FOR JACKETS RETURN HOME: The Blue Jackets play their next home game on Wednesday, Feb. 8, against the Los Angeles Kings. A trio of promotions are on tap that night: Office Space Night ticket packages include: a game ticket, pre or post-game showing of the movie "Office Space" at the Arena Grand Theatre, one coupon for six free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings and a commemorative T-Shirt for just $23. The game is also a Dispatch/Mix 97.1 Family Night that offers 4 tickets, 4 Hot Dogs, 4 Pepsis, 4 Popcorns, 4 UDF Ice Cream Cone coupons (redeemable at United Dairy Farmers locations) and 4 Chiller Skating Passes for one low price. Finally, the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a Blue Jackets drawstring back pack compliments of Nationwide. For information or to order tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or log onto www.BlueJackets.com.
JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3 -4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.