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When Matt Calvert was called up last week from AHL Springfield, not even he knew what to expect with his first trip the NHL

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 11:38 AM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com
"After that it was me versus the goalie and I was lucky enough to put it in the back of the net." - Matt Calvert on his 2nd NHL goal

With one point to center ice, referee Bill McCreary incited a raucous celebration on the Blue Jackets bench.

You would think that rookie winger Matt Calvert had snapped a wrister over Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick's shoulder on a clear-cut breakaway.

The aesthetics are irrelevant when the puck crosses the goal line for your first goal in the National Hockey League. Just one week later, Calvert's second goal was much easier on the eyes.

He took a beautiful stretch pass from Jake Voracek and found himself in alone behind the Detroit defense. It took one move, and he roofed it over Red Wings goaltender Joey MacDonald's right pad, giving the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead in the second period.

"I saw that I had an opportunity for an odd-man rush, and Jake put a perfect pass right on my tape," Calvert said. "After that it was me versus the goalie and I was lucky enough to put it in the back of the net."

Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel saw more than just a nice-looking goal from Calvert; he elevated Kyle Wilson and Calvert to play with R.J. Umberger in the third period.

"It's great to earn that trust from the coaches, and even better to be out there in the last five minutes," Calvert said. "You definitely know that you've rubbed off on them."

The Kings had a 4-0 lead late in the second period last week at Staples Center, and the Blue Jackets were looking for something to help them get going.

Matt Calvert has 2-0-2 in his first five NHL games.

An errant breakout pass from Dustin Brown deflected off Calvert's stick and toward Quick. Quick tried to handle the puck in his skates, but it made its way across the goal line to cut the Kings' lead to 4-1.

"(The result) wasn't in my imagination how that one was going to go in," Calvert said of his first career tally. "But it crossed the line.

"I think my celebration might have helped it, too. You have to take them any way they come."

Not only did the goal stand after going to review, it gave the Blue Jackets something to build on for the final period. Goals by Rick Nash (2) in the third period and Fedor Tyutin helped Columbus close to a goal.

"Calvert's goal was a feel-good thing for the guys, and to see him score his first (was good)," Arniel said.

"And when Nasher scored (the second goal), that's when everyone got lit up a little bit."

Yet the life of a player called up is one of uncertainty and Calvert will do whatever it takes to stay with the Blue Jackets, but acknowledges that it's a process that preaches patience.

"It's game-by-game, and I knew that when I got called up," he said. "I just have to work hard and go day-by-day – you always have to be looking to that next shift."

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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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