WEEKLY REPORT: Blue Jackets Bring Three-Game Winning Streak into Final Week of the Season
Columbus visits Phoenix and Colorado before wrapping up the season on Saturday vs. the New York Islanders
THIS WEEK’S GAME SCHEDULE/BROADCASTS (Times ET)
Tuesday, Apr. 3 at Phoenix Coyotes, Jobing.com Arena, 10 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan
Thursday, Apr. 5 at Colorado Avalanche, Pepsi Center, 9 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan
Saturday, Apr. 7 vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS, NATIONWIDE ARENA, 7 p.m. – FS Ohio HD/Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan
BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE
Record: 27-45-7, 61 pts. (16-21-3, 35 pts. at home, 11-23-4, 26 pts. on the road)… Standings: 5th/Central Division… 15th/Western Conference… Leading Scorers: RW Rick Nash (27-29-56, 79 GP)… LW Vinny Prospal (15-36-51, 79 GP)… Goaltenders: Curtis Sanford (10-18-4, 2.60 GAA, .911 SV%, 1 SO in 36 GP)… Steve Mason (14-26-3, 3.43 GAA, .892 SV%, 1 SO in 44 GP)… Allen York (3-1-0, 2.35 GAA, .921 SV%, 0 SO in 10 GP).
OPPONENTS AT A GLANCE
PHOENIX COYOTES – Head Coach: Dave Tippett… Record: 39-27-13, 91 pts… Standings: 2nd/Pacific Division… 7th/Western Conference… Coyotes have gone 3-1-1 in their last five games with wins in two-straight… One of four Pacific Division teams within two points of one another with three games to play… Leading Scorer: LW Ray Whitney (24-51-75, 79 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Mike Smith (35-18-10, 2.29 GAA, .927 SV%, 7 SO in 64 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 16-21-6, including 6-11-4 on the road… Columbus has won four of the last five meetings, including three-straight, after going 1-8-1 between 2008-11… Blue Jackets went 1-3-0 in 2010-11… This Season: Final of four meetings… The Jackets won 4-3 on Jan. 13 and 3-2 on Mar. 6 at home and 5-2 at Phoenix on Mar. 3.
COLORADO AVALANCHE – Head Coach: Joe Sacco… Record: 41-33-6, 88 pts… Standings: 2nd/Northwest Division… 10th/Western Conference… The Avs rank 10th in the NHL on the power play (18.3 pct.) and 11th in penalty killing (83.2 pct.)… Leading Scorer: C Ryan O’Reilly (18-37-55, 79 GP)… Leading Goaltender: Semyon Varlamov (26-23-3, 2.56 GAA, .914 SV%, 4 SO in 52 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 10-29-4, including 4-15-2 on the road… Jackets went 1-2-1 in 2010-11… This Season: Fourth of four meetings… Colorado won 3-2 in OT on Oct. 12 and 5-0 on Feb. 24 at Nationwide Arena, while Columbus won 2-0 at Pepsi Center on Mar. 1.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS – Head Coach: Jack Capuano… Record: 33-35-11, 77 pts… Standings: 5th/Atlantic Division… 14th/Eastern Conference… Isles rank seventh-T in the NHL on the power play (18.9 pct.) and are the fourth-least penalized team in the league (8.9 PIM per game)… Leading Scorer: C John Tavares (31-47-78, 79 GP)… Leading Goaltenders: Evgeni Nabokov (19-18-3, 2.55 GAA, .914 SV%, 2 SO in 42 GP)… Al Montoya (8-9-5, 2.96 GAA, .899 SV%, 0 SO in 28 GP)… All-Time Series: Jackets are 8-1-4 all-time, including 5-0-2 at home… Columbus won the lone meeting in 2010-11, 4-3 OT, on Nov. 24… Four of the last five meetings have been decided in OT/SO, including three-straight… This Season: Only game between the clubs.
Mar. 31 – Added D Cody Goloubef to the roster on emergency recall from the Springfield Falcons (AHL)… Mar. 29 – Signed D Sean Collins to a two-year entry level contract… Signed G Shawn Hunwick to a one-year contract for the remainder of the 2011-12 season… Assigned D David Savard to Springfield (AHL)… Recalled D Dalton Prout from Springfield (AHL)… Mar. 28 – Signed G Shawn Hunwick to an amateur tryout contract.
OhioHEALTH INJURY REPORT
D Radek Martinek (post-concussion symptoms, Oct. 22 at Detroit) will miss the rest of the 2011-12 season… D Marc Methot (broken jaw, Feb. 9 vs. Dallas) is out indefinitely… LW Kristian Huselius (lower body, Dec. 6 at Montreal) is out indefinitely… D Fedor Tyutin (hand, Mar. 6 vs. Phoenix) is out indefinitely… G Curtis Sanford (leg, Mar. 18 at Calgary) is out indefinitely… C Derek MacKenzie (upper body, Mar. 6 vs. Phoenix) is week-to-week… D James Wisniewski (upper body, Mar. 18 at Calgary) is week-to-week… G Steve Mason (upper body, Mar. 28) is day-to-day… D John Moore (lower body, Mar. 30 vs. Florida) is day-to-day… Games Missed to Injury: 391.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Mar. 26 – at Detroit 7, BLUE JACKETS 2: The Red Wings scored four goals in the game’s first 9:51, including a pair of power play tallies by Tomas Holmstrom, and pushed the lead to 7-0 early in the third period en route to clinching their 21st-straight playoff appearance. Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi each collected four assists to lead Detroit, while Columbus got 1-1-2 from Rick Nash and a goal from Mark Letestu… Mar. 28 – at BLUE JACKETS 4, Detroit 2: Rookie Allen York made 29 saves to record his first career NHL win as the Jackets bounced back to beat the Red Wings before a nationally televised audience on NBC Sports Network. Columbus took a 2-0 lead on goals by Vinny Prospal and Derek Dorsett before Detroit cut the lead in half on a Henrik Zetterberg power play goal late in the first period. Second period tallies by Derick Brassard and R.J. Umberger pushed the Columbus advantage to 4-1 before Niklas Kronwall scored another power play goal for Detroit midway through the third period. Ty Conklin made 27 saves in net for the Red Wings… Mar. 30 – at BLUE JACKETS 4, Florida 1: Allen York made 30 saves, while Nikita Nikitin tallied 2-1-3 and R.J. Umberger scored a pair of goals as the Blue Jackets won their fifth-straight meeting against the Southeast Division-leading Panthers. Columbus led 3-0 until a goal by Florida’s Tomas Kopecky at 7:57 of the third spoiled York’s shutout bid. Columbus went 1-of-5 on the power play, while killing off all three Florida attempts with the man advantage… Mar. 31 – BLUE JACKETS 5, at St. Louis 2: Allen York made 34 saves and R.J. Umberger scored two goals as the Blue Jackets handed St. Louis just its fifth regulation loss in 39 home games this season. Columbus’ Jared Boll and St. Louis’ David Backes scored goals just 17 seconds apart early in the first period before Umberger’s tallies gave the visitors a 3-1 lead. The Blues got a goal by David Perron at 16:10 of the second period to cut the Columbus lead to 3-2 heading into the third. Derek Dorsett scored a 5-on-3 power play goal at the 10:25 mark and Vinny Prospal added an empty net tally to put the game away. Columbus was 2-of-8 on the power play, while the Blues went 0-of-5 with the man advantage. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28-of-32 shots for St. Louis.
The Blue Jackets have gone 14-13-1 in 28 games since Feb. 3 and have won three-straight games, which is their second-longest winning streak of the season (four games, Mar. 1-8)… Columbus has gone 6-5-1 in its last 12 road games and 5-3-0 in its last eight at home with wins in three-of-four… The Blue Jackets posted a 9-7-0 record in March… Columbus held its opponents to two goals or less in 10 of 16 games in March, surrendering 14 goals and going 9-1-0 in those contests… The club allowed 29 goals in the other six March contests and went 0-6-0 in those games… The Blue Jackets have amassed a franchise-record 391 man games missed due to injury this season… Columbus is 2-2 in games decided in overtime this season and 4-5 in shootouts, including a 4-2 mark in its last six shootouts.
YORK STEPS UP FOR INJURY-DEPLETED GOALTENDING CORP
With Curtis Sanford and Steve Mason sidelined by injury, G Allen York made the second, third and fourth starts of his NHL career vs. Detroit, Florida and at St. Louis last week. He responded by going 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and .949 save percentage, stopping 93-of-98 shots. He made 29 saves in a 4-2 win over the Red Wings on Mar. 28, made 30 saves in a 4-1 win over the Panthers on Mar. 30 and handed St. Louis its fifth regulation loss in 39 home games this season with a 34-save effort in a 5-2 win on Mar. 31. Prior to last week, he had started one game and appeared in relief in six others with Columbus this season, while splitting the remainder of the campaign between the ECHL’s Chicago Express and AHL’s Springfield Falcons.
NASH RIDING FIVE-GAME POINT STREAK, EYEING 30 GOALS
RW Rick Nash has picked up 3-6-9 in his last seven games and is riding a five-game point streak (2-6-8), which matches his longest of the season (1-5-6 from Feb. 3-12). He has tallied a team-leading 27-29-56 in 79 games and is three goals shy of his fifth-straight 30-goal season (seventh overall). This season marks his eighth-straight with at least 50 points.
NIKITIN BOLSTERING BLUE LINE
D Nikita Nikitin has collected 3-6-9 in his last eight games, including the first multi-goal and second three-point game of his NHL career on Mar. 30 vs. Florida when he tallied 2-1-3 and scored his third game-winning goal of the season. He has picked up 6-11-17 and is +1 in his last 25 games, raising his season totals to 7-24-31 in 58 games. He has set career highs in goals, assists and points.
GOALS COMING IN BUNCHES FOR UMBERGER
LW R.J. Umberger has racked up 8-2-10 in his last six games and is riding a three-game goal-scoring streak (5-1-6) that includes back-to-back two-goal games vs. Florida on Mar. 30 and at St. Louis on Mar. 31. He has registered 16-15-31 over the past 48 games after being held to 3-4-7 during the season’s first 26 games. He has tallied 19-19-38 in 74 games and is one goal shy of his fourth-straight 20-goal season (fifth overall).
JOHNSON IS IRON MAN ON DEFENSE
D Jack Johnson has 3-8-11 and is +2 in 18 games since joining the Blue Jackets in a trade from Los Angeles. Johnson has averaged 27:13 Time On Ice in those games as the Blue Jackets have gone 9-9-0 with him in the lineup. During that time, he has logged 25:00 or more in 13 games (all in the last 14 outings). The club record for TOI in a regulation game prior to this season was 30:11 by Ron Hainsey on Dec. 10, 2006 vs. Ottawa. Johnson has topped that four times in the last eight games – 31:19 at Calgary on Mar. 18, 31:25 at Detroit on Mar. 26, 32:16 vs. Detroit on Mar. 28 (new club record) and 31:54 at St. Louis on Mar. 31.
DORSETT LEAVING A MARK IN BEST SEASON TO DATE
LW Derek Dorsett has registered 12-7-19 with two power play goals, one shorthanded tally and one game-winner to go along with 218 penalty minutes in 74 games this season. In his fourth NHL season, he has set career highs in goals (matching his three-year total of 12), points (3-14-17 in 2010-11) and penalty minutes (184 in 2010-11). He currently leads the NHL in penalty minutes and is the third Blue Jacket to top the 200 PIM-mark in franchise history, joining Jody Shelley (249 in 2002-03, 228 in 2003-04 and 206 in 2001-02) and Jared Boll (226 in 2007-08).
LW Vinny Prospal has picked up 6-15-21 in his last 29 games with points in five of his last six outings (3-3-6) and has hit the 50-point mark (15-36-51, 79 GP) for the ninth time in his NHL career… C Derick Brassard has picked up 2-4-6 in his last six games to give him 12-22-34 over the past 46 outings… C Mark Letestu has collected 6-4-10 in his last 14 games… Rookie RW Cam Atkinson is riding a three-game point streak (0-4-4) and collected his first NHL multi-point game with 0-2-2 at St. Louis on Mar. 31… Rookies D Dalton Prout (13:50 TOI, +1 vs. Florida on Mar. 30) and D Cody Goloubef (6:00 TOI, +1 at St. Louis on Mar. 31) became the 40th and 41st players to play for the Blue Jackets this season and seventh and eighth, respectively, to make their NHL debuts with the club in 2011-12.
FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT IS SET FOR SATURDAY VS. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
The Blue Jackets will host Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday, Apr. 7 vs. NY Islanders as all fans in attendance will receive a free Blue Jackets t-shirt courtesy of FOX Sports Ohio. The evening will also include numerous prize giveaways, including the “Jerseys Off Their Backs” presented to lucky fans by Blue Jackets players on the ice following the game, and much more… DISPATCH FAMILY VALUE PACK – Fans receive a game ticket, hot dog, Pepsi, popcorn, UDF ice cream cone coupon and OhioHealth Ice Haus Skate Pass. Packages start at $25 per person, which is a savings of 50%, and lower level packages are available starting at $59 per person… LABATT BLUE ZONE HAT TRICK COMBO – Get a Lower Level ticket, a pre-game buffet and a post-game drink in the Labatt Blue Zone Pub for just $55 per person.
WIN A BACKYARD BARBEQUE WITH RYAN JOHANSEN
The Blue Jackets, Giant Eagle and Pepsi are giving fans the chance to win a backyard barbeque with CBJ rookie center Ryan Johansen. The grand prize winner will receive a visit from Johansen, who will bring CBJ mascot Stinger along, set up the Blue Jackets street hockey rink and host a barbeque at the winner’s home. All the food will be provided by Giant Eagle with beverages supplied by Pepsi. In addition, the winner will receive a Johansen prize pack, free Pepsi products for a year and a Giant Eagle gift card. Visit participating Central Ohio Giant Eagle locations or click http://bluejackets.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=77993 to enter.
EA SPORTS NHL 13 COVER VOTE PITS UMBERGER VS. JOHANSEN
EA Sports is giving fans the opportunity to shape the face of the world’s No. 1 hockey video game by participating in the first-ever EA Sports NHL Cover Vote Campaign presented by Blackberry. Two players from each team are pitted against each other in the first round with the initial field of 60 narrowed down to one winner that will be unveiled at the 2012 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 20. Blue Jackets forwards R.J. Umberger and Ryan Johansen are among the players facing off against each other in round one. First round voting is underway through Thursday, April 12 at www.NHL.com/covervote.
PAPA JOHN’S MONDAYS
Fans get free toppings on Papa John’s pizza (large cheese for $9.99) every Monday for each goal scored by the Blue Jackets in their most recent game. Fans can double the toppings after a win! Order by phone or at www.papajohns.com (promo code CBJMonday).
PETLAND PRESENTS 2012 PUCKS AND PAWS CALENDAR
The 2012 Pucks and Paws Calendar presented by Petland features Blue Jackets players alongside assistance dogs and puppies in training from Canine Companions for Independence®, the nation’s largest non-profit provider of trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities. Fans can purchase the calendar at the Foundation Kiosk during Blue Jackets home games or at www.BlueJacketsFoundation.org.
THIS WEEK ON JACKETS TV AT BLUEJACKETS.COM
This week’s scheduled Jackets TV programming includes: the Top 5 Plays of the Week (vote for your favorite); a closer look at Columbus Chill Appreciation Night; the latest edition of “Small Talk” that gives the team’s youngest fans the chance to ask questions of their favorite Blue Jackets players; a feature on a visit to practice by a young Blue Jackets fan; a behind-the-scenes look as NHL representatives visit some of Columbus’ special attractions as planning is underway for the 2012 NHL All-Star Celebration; complete practice and game day coverage; and more.
STAY CONNECTED WITH THE JACKETS
Fans can follow the Blue Jackets online, watch game highlights, press conferences and exclusive behind-the-scenes video content on Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com. Fans can also get up-to-the-minute news and stories by following the Blue Jackets on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL. “Like” the club’s official Facebook® page and get the latest club news and promotions, videos, photos, updates and interact with other fans at www.facebook.com/OfficialColumbusBlueJackets. Check out great videos on the club’s YouTube channel as well at www.YouTube.com/BlueJacketsNHL.
BLUE JACKETS MOBILE APP NOW AVAILABLE
The Blue Jackets official mobile app gives fans a new way to follow the team using their smart phones and mobile devices. The app is currently available in the iTunes and Android Market app stores. Fans can download the NHL GameCenter app and select the Blue Jackets as their favorite team to access the team’s schedule/results, game play-by-play, statistics, NHL standings, game photos, player profiles and updated news. iPhone and iPad users can track shots and goals with the 3D Ice Tracker. All users will also be able to watch features from Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com and purchase single game tickets from within the app.
BLUE JACKETS MEDIA GUIDE AVAILABLE AT iTUNES STORE
The Columbus Blue Jackets 2011-12 Interactive Media Guide is available for free at the iTunes Store as fans now can download the media guide to their computer, iPad or iPhone. The guide contains interactive player bios, as well as detailed team historical and statistical information and records.
BLUE JACKETS ON FOX SPORTS OHIO
Blue Jackets hockey returns to FOX Sports Ohio in 2011-12 with 79 live telecasts in high definition. Game night coverage includes the BLUE JACKETS LIVE pre- (begins 30 minutes prior to the start of each game) and post-game shows… BLUE JACKETS SLAP SHOTS has returned to FOX Sports Ohio each week during the 2011-12 season. Check it out Mondays at 6 p.m.
BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
The AlarmForce Blue Jackets Sunday Morning Skate can be heard on the Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network and Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Bob McElligott and Mark Wyant… The Columbus Blue Jackets Coach’s Show with Todd Richards airs on Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m… Due to this week’s game schedule, Coach Richards will join The Common Man & The Torg during their show on Wednesday between 3-6 p.m.
BLUE JACKETS “PRESS BOX” AT BLUEJACKETS.COM
The Blue Jackets have created a “Press Box” microsite on BlueJackets.com with daily updates of the following: press releases, news articles, media clips, game notes, post-game notes, videos posted on Jackets TV, post-game audio, weekly reports, as well as NHL stats and standings and a link to the 2011-12 interactive media guide. The site is located under the “News” module at the top of the BlueJackets.com home page or at the following link – bluejackets.nhl.com/pressbox.
Single Game: Tickets starting at $26 are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line Team Stores at OhioHealth Chiller Easton, OhioHealth Chiller Dublin, OhioHealth Chiller North and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.Ticketmaster.com… 2013 All-Star Game: The 2013 NHL All-Star Game is coming to Columbus Jan. 26-27, 2013. Fans can guarantee access to seats for both the game and Skills Challenge now by reserving a full or partial season ticket plan for the Blue Jackets’ 2012-13 season… Season & Group Tickets: For information on full and partial season ticket plans starting at $15 per game and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS or visit www.BlueJackets.com… Huntington Green Seats: A minimum of 250 tickets are available for just $10 at the Nationwide Arena Box Office two hours prior to every home game… White Castle Rush CBJ student tickets: Student tickets are available for $15 (AEP Power Level) and $25 (Lower Level) at the box office beginning one hour prior to all home preseason games or online beginning at 12 p.m. on game days at www.BlueJackets.com... Military Appreciation Ticket: All active service personnel receive a free ticket to Blue Jackets home games by showing a valid, current military I.D. at the Nationwide Arena Box Office.