John Moore, a defenseman who was chosen No. 21 in the first round of the 2009 Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, is one of 28 players within the organization attending the NHL Prospects Tournament this week in Traverse City, Mich. Moore has agreed to give an inside look at the tournament both on and off the ice. Return to NHL.com for more of John Moore's Traverse City blog throughout the week.
Jackets suffer shootout loss
09.10.2009 / 05:45 PM ET
It was a tough finish to the tournament for us. We lost to the Atlanta Thrashers in a shootout, 5-4.
They came out ready to play and we were on our heels from the start. I think it was pretty evident to everyone there. They took advantage of that and really peppered us in terms of shots and took it to us but we came out well in the second and really battled back. We had a 5-on-3 late in the period and were able to carry momentum over into the third and fortunately, we were able to get back into the game.
Everyone was really jacked up when we tied the game. And then with about a minute left we were able to take the lead when Stefan Legein put one home. We were pretty excited about that. Then it seemed like the game was just about to end but they popped a real fluky one in but that's hockey. You can't get too high or too low so we tried to buckle down and put together a solid 5 minutes of OT and I think we did that.
Evander Kane scored late in the third to tie it for Atlanta. He's a great player and I think he showed that today with his performance. I think highly of him.
When we got to the shootout, it was going back and forth and after five shooters apiece, it was 2-2. So we had to go to a sudden-death shootout. We went two rounds until their player scored and then it was up to me. The game was on the line. The ice was really bad so I knew I wanted to shoot it and it actually started to roll a little bit on me but there's always tomorrow and that's the great thing about this game. So that'll be the first thing I practice on the ice when I get back out there.
Overall, it was a great trip. It was really well put together and a really competitive environment. I had a blast and it was a lot of fun and going into our main camp, it prepares you for that real environment and I'll look back on this as a really exciting week and I had a great time.
I hope you enjoyed the blog this week. Hope it was informative and entertaining.
Disappointing loss to Dallas
09.09.2009 / 5:45 PM ET
Well, we just finished up with Dallas. I was watching the game tonight as our coaches can't suit up everyone every night, so ultimately, someone is going to have to sit over the course of the tournament and tonight was my turn. So I'm just looking forward to tomorrow.
We lost 4-3. It was a tough loss and a lot of power-play goals for both teams. As cliché as it sounds, the bounces didn't go our way. There were a lot of pucks off shin pads that ended up in the back of the net for both teams. We don't know what the draw will be for tomorrow but we're just looking forward to whoever we have to play.
Sitting up in the stands made me realize how much I wanted to be out there and I'm just looking forward to tomorrow and putting my best foot forward since it could be my last opportunity to show people what I have.
I really feel this tournament has been a great experience. Just meeting guys who you could potentially be playing with in the NHL with the Blue Jackets is pretty neat. It's been great just developing relationships on and off the ice with those players and it's a real competitive environment here so it's been a lot of fun.
Well, we'll probably head on over to the Ruby Tuesday restaurant across the street from our hotel now. It's really our only option, so we'll probably go there. We know the menu like the back of our hand now. Then we'll shut her down early to get the rest for tomorrow's game.
Thanks for reading everyone. I hope to have one final post tomorrw.
Sticking to hockey
09.09.2009 / 9:10 AM ET
Back again for a quick update but this will be short.
Our threesome came in last in the mini-putt tournament Tuesday afternoon and myself, Tomas Kubalik and Zak Ray had to jump into the bay because of our embarrassing loss. It was awful.
If you drive by our hotel, you might be able to see clothes hanging out on the balcony. Well, they'd be our clothes.
There are just eight of us attending the skate this morning in preparation for our game with Dallas at 3 p.m. (ET). We're tied with St. Louis for second place in the Western Conference, so we could certainly use the win.
That's it for now. Here's hoping my game on the ice is better than my game on the links.
Practice and mini-putt tournament
09.08.2009 / 1:05 PM ET
We worked on a lot of things on Monday during practice. We worked on controlled breakout, getting chips through the middle to gain speed up ice and worked on power-play breakout. Just things with a lot of flow and puck movement.
Then, really tried to incorporate that into the game (against St. Louis) on Monday. Chipping those pucks did work and we were successful. I think we were all pretty pleased with the way we played and came out with a 5-4 win and hopefully we can just sustain that into tomorrow night (against Dallas). It was a tough win though. Going into the third, we were up 4-1 and then they started to chip away at the lead there. We weren't scared but we just kind of buckled down and tighten our belts a little bit and hold them off. But, it was nice to come out with the win, that's for sure.
After practice today, the team is going to have a mini-putt tournament since our hotel is across the street from a mini-putt course and we actually just finished up our draft in the locker room (before heading out to practice). I'll be playing with Tomas Kubalik and Zak Ray. I know this tournament will be pretty heated. We divided into threesomes so hopefully our team will come out on top.
I already had a shot at the course earlier this week when we arrived and I played alright but we'll see what happens. I'll hopefully have some good news about this in my next blog.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Opening day jitters in Traverse City
09.06.2009 / 10:30 PM ET
We're here playing hockey in the resort town of Traverse City. We all met in Columbus on Saturday and took a bus to Traverse City. Overall it wasn't too bad; about 7-and-a-half hours. I was fortunate enough to fall asleep for most of the trip.
I'm very excited for this tournament. Not only is it a great opportunity to show the organization what you can do but it is also a great opportunity to play with other players that are a part of the organization. I'm definitely looking at this tournament as a springboard for Kitchener this year. I am looking forward to putting my best foot forward here and hopefully building off of my experience and carrying it into a successful year in Kitchener (in the OHL).
The first practice was great, it was nice to get on the ice with everyone and get the bus legs out. We kept it pretty short (Sunday) morning as we were only on the ice for about 40 minutes, but it was pretty up tempo and it was a good skate.
Unfortunately, we came out on the short end this afternoon losing to the Wild, 2-1. My defensive partner was Brent Regner. Everyone was pretty nervous for the first game and we are looking forward to Monday's match against St. Louis.
Thanks for checking in. I'll update tomorrow.