Features

Richards welcomes return of Prout, Calvert

Monday, 09.23.2013 / 10:30 PM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

It speaks to the Blue Jackets' bright future and where their young players are headed when missing Matt Calvert and Dalton Prout left a significant hole in their lineup.

Calvert, who had not played in any of the Jackets' previous five exhibition games before Monday night's contest against the Minnesota Wild, returned to action after recovering from a sore groin that had been bothering him during training camp. For a team that thrives on forechecking and puck pursuit, the Blue Jackets really missed a guy that executes both to a "T" and unnerves the opposition every night. 

And on the back end, the Blue Jackets hadn't seen much of Prout during training camp after abdominal surgery caused to miss most of the first two weeks. His ahead-of-schedule recovery has been a pleasant surprise for the coaches and management, who maintained that Prout had to be 100 percent and free of restrictions if he was to jump back into things.

So far, so good: Prout played nearly 20 minutes paired with Tim Erixon and landed four hits, a couple of them of the thunderous variety as he's well-known for.

"It was great to have them back in the lineup and out on the ice, and at 100 percent," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "For their first game, I thought they both did a good job. There's going to be some rust, there's going to be some mistakes...it's tough to simulate in practice the game speed and physicality of it.

"I thought they both stepped and in they both did a good job."

Calvert was the one really raring to go tonight, having not played a game since suffering a broken finger in a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on April 18 -- over five months ago and it ended with a bad taste in his mouth. Then, just as exhibition approached, he was set back by the groin injury and missed another week of game action.

His return to the ice tonight? Let's call it an active one.

Calvert had a game-high nine hits (yes, nine) and zipped around the rink for 15:31, and was back to his pesky, forechecking self. As he said post-game, he was getting tired of watching everyone else play.

"It was exciting to get back out there with the boys, and you're always champing at the bit watching," Calvert said. "I felt good, I thought I was going to be a little more behind but we've been working out hard and I think it helped me.

"I don't think I've ever come close to (nine hits in a game). The opportunities were just right in front of me and when you're practicing or in summer hockey, you're not intense so I thought I'd get back into it tonight and I felt great."

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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