Features

Melart adjusts to the pace in NHL debut

Sunday, 09.15.2013 / 10:00 PM / Features
By Kristyn Repke  - BlueJackets.com


It’s hard to miss a guy who towers at 6-foot-4, 230 lbs. charging toward the boards and skating around the ice, watching every move.

Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins definitely took notice.

Defenseman Ilari Melart, in his first NHL game, saw 14:53 of ice time and had the Blue Jackets’ first fight of the season. Even though the end result was not what Melart wanted (it ended with him and Adam Payerl skating in circles), he thought he did well for his first round.

“It didn’t end up being much of a fight since my arm was tied up the whole time and I couldn’t get it free,” Melart told BlueJackets.com. “It was just happened in the heat of the moment, but it was fun.”

Overall, Melart’s physical play was evident. He made the hits to free up the puck and provide an opening for his teammates to break on the rush. His seven penalty minutes led the team in that column, but he was among the Blue Jackets who brought the physical intensity to tonight’s game.

“My job is to get the puck quickly out of the zone, and I think I did decently at that,” said Melart. “Hopefully, I’ll get to play as many games as possible and keep up my work.”

Melart’s first game in the NHL was also his first on North American ice, as he has spent his entire career (and life, before this season) in Europe and played professional hockey for both HIFK of the SM-Iiiga League and Team Finland in international competition.

“My goal is to get to know the NHL style of play and the North American style of play,” said Melart. “The pace is quicker than what I’m used to. I had to be ready all the time. But I like this style and pace more, so it’s not a hard transition for me to make."

"I just have to keep working at it.”


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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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