Features

Jackets' prep won't be much different in East

Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 7:00 AM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards has long been a coach who lives in the "here and now."

And, to be fair, that's a big part of the equation for being good at his job. Coaches can ill afford to look ahead or escape the present, primarily because preparation and paying attention to details are so crucial in today's professional sports landscape. 


The Blue Jackets (and all NHL teams) spend a lot of time getting prepared for each of their 82 games, and though they're undergoing a significant shift by moving to a different conference this season, Richards doesn't expect much to change in that regard.

Their practice schedules and general approach isn't going to venture too far from where they were a year ago, Richards said, frankly admitting that "you'd be foolish" to completely ignore a method of preparation which yielded strong results.

“I have played some teams in the East, and you do have knowledge of systems and how teams play," Richards said. "You have some knowledge of players, but probably not as good as the players of teams in the West. Players do switch, coaches switch, and I’ve already talked to a couple of coaches who have been in the East about possibly getting information from them.

"You can acquire video on any team; we can go downstairs in our video room, go back two years and watch a team play or watch a style of play. There is some (change in) preparation, but my main focus is our team."

The game-by-game mentality that the Blue Jackets bought in to in the second half of the 2012-13 kept them sharp in a grueling schedule, one that saw most NHL clubs play 48 games in a span of 99 days. Columbus - in the Western Conference for its entire franchise history until this season - had to win five of six games on a late-season West Coast road trip just to stay in the playoff race.

Richards constantly challenged his players to be at their best in their specific roles, and work on improving what they bring to the table every night. That attitude will be at the forefront as the on-ice work at Training Camp presented by OhioHealth begins this morning.

"As John (Davidson) said, there are no secrets in this league," Richards said. "I think if we’re the best team that we can be, and we can get the most out of players and maximize their potential…we’re going to be a really good.

"We still have to know what our opponent is going to do and we have to pass that on to our players, but our focus is on us and what we do.”

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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