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Blue Jackets Weekly Report: April 13, 2010

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

BLUE JACKETS AT A GLANCE


Record: 32-35-15, 79 pts. (Central Division: 5th; Western Conference: 14th)

Home Record: 20-12-9, 49 pts. (19th in NHL)

Road Record: 12-23-6, 30 pts. (27th-T in NHL)

Goals For*: 214 (2.61/20th-T in NHL)

Goals Against*: 249 (3.04/24th in NHL)

Power Play: 56-of-308 (18.2 pct./14th in NHL)

Penalty Killing: 273-of-334 (81.7 pct./17th in NHL)

Last Week's Results: 0-1-2… Apr. 5 – at St. Louis 2, COLUMBUS 1 (OT)… Apr. 7 – at Detroit 4, COLUMBUS 3… Apr. 9 – Detroit 1, at COLUMBUS 0 (SO).

(*does not include shootouts)

NHL DRAFT DRAWING TO BE HELD TONIGHT
The 2010 NHL Draft Drawing, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, will take place tonight at 8 p.m. E.T. The NHL will unveil the results live during a 30-minute program – "2010 LG Draft Lottery" – that will be televised on VERSUS in the U.S. and streamed live on NHL.com. Per NHL rules, the club selected in the Draft Drawing may not move up more than four positions in the draft order and no team can move down more than one position. As a result, the Blue Jackets, who are in the fourth position and have a 10.7 percent chance of winning the drawing, will own either the first, fourth or fifth overall pick in the draft. The other clubs with an opportunity to select first overall are: Edmonton (25.0 pct.), Boston from Toronto (18.8 pct.), Florida (14.2 pct.) and NY Islanders (8.1 pct.).

BLUE JACKETS DRAFT DRAWING HISTORY
2000 – Lost coin flip with fellow expansion club Minnesota (No. 3 pick) to earn No. 4 overall pick in 2000 Entry Draft.

2001 – Entered in No. 8 position and earned No. 8 pick. Atlanta (No. 3) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2002 – Entered in No. 2 position and earned No. 3 pick. Florida (No. 3) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.*

2003 – Entered in No. 3 position and earned No. 4 pick. Florida (No. 4) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2004 – Entered in No. 4 position and earned No. 4 pick. Washington (No. 3) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2005 – No Drawing due to cancellation of 2004-05 season (see below).

2006 – Entered in No. 6 position and earned No. 6 pick. St. Louis (No. 1) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2007 – Entered in No. 7 position and earned No. 7 pick. Chicago (No. 5) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2008 – Entered in No. 6 position and earned No. 6 pick. Tampa Bay (No. 1) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2009 – Not eligible for Drawing.

(*pick acquired by Columbus, which selected Rick Nash No. 1 overall)

2005 – To determine the 2005 Entry Draft order after the 2004-05 season was cancelled due to the lockout, each team began the lottery with three balls and was assured of having at least one for the drawing. Teams lost one ball for every playoff appearance they made over the past three seasons and/or for the number of times they were awarded the first overall pick by winning the Draft lottery during the past four years. The Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres each had three balls in the lottery. Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville and Phoenix all had two balls. The remaining 16 teams had one ball each. The Blue Jackets earned the No. 6 pick.

BLUE JACKETS HAVE ONE OF BEST OFFENSIVE SEASONS IN CLUB HISTORY
The Blue Jackets scored 214 goals in 82 games to average 2.61 goals per game this season, which is the third-highest total in franchise history. The club scored a franchise-best 223 goals (2.72/28th in NHL) in 2005-06 and tallied 220 goals (2.68/21st in NHL) in 2008-09. Columbus ranked 20th in the NHL this season in goal-scoring, which is the second-highest mark in club history (16th in 2002-03 averaging 2.60 goals per game). In addition, the Jackets scored a franchise-record 56 power play goals (previous record of 41 set in 2002-03 and 2006-07) and ranked 14th in the NHL with the man advantage at 18.2 pct., which is also the third-best mark in club history (19.0 pct. in 2002-03 and 18.3 pct. in 2006-07). In 2008-09, the Jackets ranked 30th in the NHL on the power play (23-of-188/12. pct.). The club boasted three 60-point producers (Rick Nash, Antoine Vermette and Kristian Huselius) for just the second time in nine seasons (2002-03: Ray Whitney, Andrew Cassels and Geoff Sanderson) and five 50-point producers (Nash, Vermette, Huselius, R.J. Umberger and Jakub Voracek) for the first time. This year also marked the second time the club had four players (Nash, Vermette, Huselius and Umberger) score at least 20 goals (2002-03: Sanderson, Whitney, Cassels and David Vyborny).

MISCELLANEOUS TEAM NOTES
Over the past three seasons, the Blue Jackets have averaged just under 36 wins and 84 points compared to just under 29 wins and 68 points in their first six seasons… The Blue Jackets attracted 632,086 fans to 41 regular season home games in 2009-10, averaging 15,417 per game with seven sellouts (18,144)… The seven sellouts matches the 2008-09 total and that of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons combined… In nine seasons, the club has drawn 6,137,029 fans to 369 regular season home games (16,632 average/91.4 pct. of capacity)… The Blue Jackets were shut out four times in 2009-10, which is the fewest times in franchise history (previous low – six, 2007-08 and 2008-09)… Columbus amassed a club record-low 1,070 penalty minutes (13.2 PIM per game) this season (previous low – 1,198/14.6 in 2001-02)… The Blue Jackets went 10-8-6 after Claude Noel was named interim head coach on Feb. 3.

NASH ONCE AGAIN LEADS JACKETS ATTACK, AMONG NHL'S ELITE
RW Rick Nash tallied 33-34-67 in 76 games to lead the Jackets in goals for the sixth-straight year and points for the third-straight season and fourth in the past six (David Vyborny, 2005-06 and 2006-07). He also led the club in power play (10), game-winning (six) and shorthanded (two-T) goals, shots on goal (254), ranked second in time on ice (20:56), third in assists (tied) and fourth in shooting percentage (13.4 pct.). He was among NHL leaders in goals (13th-T), PPG (26th-T), GWG (10th-T), shots (25th) and ice time among forwards (10th). Nash is one of four active players to score at least 30 goals five or more times before their 26th birthdays. The others are Ilya Kovalchuk (six times), Owen Nolan (five) and Alex Ovechkin (five). He has hit the 30-assist mark for the fourth-straight season and the 60-point mark for the third consecutive campaign.

MASON OVERCOMES EARLY STRUGGLES TO FINISH THE SEASON STRONG
After struggling early in his second NHL season, G Steve Mason regained the form that earned him the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year over the final three months of the season. After posting a 13-18-6 mark with a 3.28 goals-against average, .890 save percentage and two shutouts in his first 40 games of the season, Mason went 7-8-3 with a 2.57 GAA, .923 SV% and three shutouts in 18 games since Feb. 4. He went 3-3-1 with a 2.20 GAA and .934 SV% and one shutout in his last seven appearances, including a 45-save shutout of Detroit in a 1-0 SOL on Apr. 9 in the final game of the season. In two seasons, the 21-year-old is 53-46-16 with a 2.65 GAA, .908 SV% and a franchise record 15 shutouts in 119 games.

IRON MEN VERMETTE AND UMBERGER HAVE CAREER YEARS
C Antoine Vermette and LW R.J. Umberger were the only two Blue Jackets to play in all 82 games this season and each enjoyed the most productive seasons of their NHL careers. Vermette tallied 27-38-65 and was +2 in 82 games to surpass the 24-29-53 he notched 81 games with Ottawa in 2007-08. He racked up 11 more goals and 24 more points than the combined 16-25-41 he had in 79 games with Ottawa and Columbus last season. Since joining the Blue Jackets in March 2009, he has tallied 34-44-78 in 99 games (.788 points per game) compared to 80-87-167 in 359 games with the Senators (.465)… Umberger collected 23-32-55 and 221 shots on goal in 82 games to surpass the 13-37-50 he had in 74 games with Philadelphia in 2007-08. He finished the season with points in 12 of the last 19 games (4-10-14) and had 8-17-25 the past 32 and registered at least one shot on goal in all but five games this season. He has played in 167 consecutive games dating back to Apr. 2, 2008 vs. Pittsburgh (with Philadelphia), including all 164 since joining Columbus prior to the 2008-09 season.

VORACEK EXCELS IN SECOND HALF OF SECOND SEASON
After tallying 9-29-38 in 80 games a year ago and falling one point short of Rick Nash's club rookie scoring record (17-22-39 in 74 games in 2002-03), RW Jakub Voracek became the second-youngest player (20 years, 8 months at season's end) in CBJ history to record 50 points in a season with 16-34-50 in 80 games. The only player younger to hit the 50-point mark was Nash, who tallied 41-16-57 in 80 games in 2003-04 (19 years, 10 months). Voracek finished the season with 8-14-22 and +6 plus/minus rating in his last 23 games. Here is a look at how his first two NHL seasons compare with Nash's:

Player 1st Season (Nash-age 18; Voracek-19)

2nd Season (Nash-age: 19, Voracek-20)

Totals

Nash 2002-03: 74 GP, 17-22-39, -27

2003-04: 80 GP, 41-16-57, -35

154 GP, 58-38-96, -62

Voracek 2008-09: 80 GP, 9-29-38, +11

2009-10: 81 GP, 16-34-50, -7

161 GP, 25-63-88, +4

HUSELIUS RECORDS SEVENTH 20-GOAL, THIRD 60-POINT SEASON
LW Kristian Huselius tallied 23-40-63 in 74 games this season, leading the club in assists and ranking third in goals (tied) and points. In his eight NHL seasons, he has scored 20 or more goals seven times and collected 40 or more assists and 60 or more points three times (each in the last four years). He finished the season with a flurry, notching 6-10-16 the past 14 games, including six multi-point outings, and 12-25-37 over his final 35 games. Huselius also led the club in power play scoring this season with 8-15-23.

MISCELLANEOUS PLAYER NOTES
D Kris Russell was voted the team's Most Improved Player by the club's broadcasters after tallying 7-15-22 with a +3 plus/minus rating in 70 games in 2009-10… His numbers during his first two seasons were 2-8-10, -12 in 67 games in 2007-08 and 2-19-21, -10 in 66 games in 2008-09… D Anton Stralman led all club defenseman in scoring with 6-28-34, which is tied with Fedor Tyutin (2008-09) and Ron Hainsey (2006-07) for the second-most points by a defenseman in CBJ history (45 – Jaroslav Spacek, 2002-03)… D Fedor Tyutin tallied 6-26-32 in 80 games to record his second-straight season with at least 30 points (9-25-34 in 81 games in 2008-09), joining Ron Hainsey (2006-08 and 2007-08) as the only CBJ blueliners to hit the 30-point mark twice with the club… Second-year RW Derek Dorsett led the club in plus/minus rating at +6… LW Jared Boll led the club in penalty minutes for the third-straight season with 149 PIM.


UPCOMING DATES TO WATCH

  • Tonight – NHL Entry Draft Drawing
  • Apr. 14 – 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin
  • May 7-23 – IIHF World Championships, Germany
  • May 24-29 – NHL Combine, Toronto
  • June 23 – 2010 NHL Awards, Las Vegas
  • June 25-26 – 2010 NHL Entry Draft, STAPLES Center, Los Angeles
  • July 1 – Free Agency period begins

BLUE JACKETS FOUNDATION, WHITE CASTLE SUPPORT AUTISM SPEAKS
During the Apr. 9 Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings game, the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation and corporate partner White Castle announced the donation of $5,750 to Autism Speaks. The money was raised through White Castle’s “Crave the Save” program in which the Columbus-based hamburger chain pledged to donate $10 for every home save made by Jackets goaltenders Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon during the second half of the 2009-10 season.

FORWARD TOGETHER
Forward Together is a group of citizens celebrating the remarkable transformation that has occurred in Columbus since the arrival of the Arena District, Nationwide Arena and the Blue Jackets. This group wants to see that growth continue, believes the city would be harmed without the Blue Jackets and supports a solution to the current financial challenges involving the team and arena. For more information and to sign a petition encouraging those involved to find a solution, please visit their website at www.forwardtogethercolumbus.org.

BLUE JACKETS ON THE RADIO
The Coach's Show can be heard on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m., hosted by Blue Jackets play by play announcer Jeff Rimer and featuring interim head coach Claude Noel… Breakfast with the Blue Jackets can be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.

BLUE JACKETS ONLINE/SOCIAL MEDIA
Fans can follow the Blue Jackets online, watch game highlights, press conferences and exclusive behind-the-scenes video content on Jackets TV at BlueJackets.com. Fans can also get up-to-the-minute news and stories by following the Blue Jackets on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL. Become a fan on the club’s official Facebook ® page to get the latest club news and promotions, videos, photos, updates and interact with other Blue Jackets fans at www.facebook.com/OfficialColumbusBlueJackets.

TICKET INFORMATION
Season & Group Tickets: For information on season tickets, 10-game and 20-game plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.

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