CBJ practice notebook: Oct. 7
Oh, the benefits of playing the Eastern Conference: the Blue Jackets picked up their first victory of the season on Saturday night in New York, arrived back in Columbus before midnight and had a full day's rest before getting back to practice today.
Several players were able to spend an overcast and occasionally-rainy Sunday at Muirfield Village for the final day of the Presidents Cup, which ended up being a surprisingly close finish. (In case you're wondering, the United States team won 18.5-15.5 and earned its eighth all-time win in 10 Presidents Cups).
James Wisniewski had a great time following his good friend and Columbus resident Jason Day, who dominated American Brandt Snedeker in his Sunday singles match.
But when the sun came up today, it was time to get back to work.
The Blue Jackets went through a practice lasting roughly an hour this morning on the main ice at Nationwide Arena, going over some more systems things like their defensive zone coverage and getting some extra special teams work in, as well.
The forward lines assembled by Todd Richards and the coaching staff for Saturday's win over the Islanders remained intact this morning. Here's a brief recap of the lines:
Atkinson - Dubinsky - Gaborik
Calvert - Anisimov - Comeau
Foligno - Johansen - Umberger
Letestu - MacKenzie - Jenner/Boll
Johnson - Prout
Murray - Wisniewski
Nikitin - Savard/Erixon
Some other news and notes after today's skate...
- One small change in the line combinations was Umberger switching to right wing during Saturday's game. Last season, when that line was assembled for the stretch run, Foligno was on the right wing but Umberger feels more comfortable on the right side. He made the Jackets' tying goal on Saturday happen by bursting down the right wing and throwing the puck into the crease.
- Fedor Tyutin did not practice today and Richards said there's a chance he could return tomorrow. There's still hope he can play Thursday in Buffalo but a definite timetable for his return has not been outlined (at least publicly).
- Jared Boll was back on the ice for practice - a third straight day including the two most recent morning skates - and he's targeting Thursday's game for a possible return from his upper body injury.
- A couple of housekeeping items: the Blue Jackets announced their first Yuengling Celebrity Bartender event of the season today, and it takes place tomorrow night from 7-9 p.m. at Brothers in the Arena District. All proceeds from tips and the jersey auction benefit the Blue Jackets Foundation.
- Also, the #CBJBWW social media watch parties are back. The first party of the season is Thursday night at the BWW location in Grandview. Show up early, have some dinner and hang out with Blue Jackets fans as the team takes on the Buffalo Sabres.