Back to practice, back to work for the Blue Jackets this morning after a 4-2 loss to Dallas last night at Nationwide Arena.
It was an hour-long session in which Todd Richards wanted to see quicker puck movement and quicker decisions – two areas he wasn’t very pleased with coming out of last night’s game. He felt the Blue Jackets spent too much time in their own zone and let the Stars dictate the game, which was not the case in victories over Buffalo and the New York Rangers.
“If you’re good with your structure and your positioning on the ice, it doesn’t put you in a vulnerable position,” Richards said. “At times, we spent too much time in our own zone and the shots we were giving up – although it was a lot – were from the perimeter and Bob was able to see them.”
Other stuff from the rink:
- Ryan Johansen played nearly 20 minutes on Tuesday night, by far his highest total of the season and most among all forwards in the game. Richards said part of it was that the Blue Jackets were playing from behind and had some power plays, and he wanted to get Johansen’s line on the ice as much as he could.
“It’s still early in the season and he’s still working to get himself into the game shape that he wants to get into, and it’s just because of the time that he missed,” Richards said. “He’s getting better, you can see he’s getting stronger.”
- After practice, Johansen said he felt great last night and he’s pretty close to game shape. His line with Foligno and Atkinson helped turn the game around, and his two goals pulled the Blue Jackets even with Dallas after falling behind early.
- Cam Atkinson missed practice today but Richards said it isn’t anything long term. “He’s just a little nicked up,” Richards said. The Blue Jackets expect Atkinson to be available for Friday’s game vs. Calgary.
- Ryan Murray practiced again today and he appears to be nearing a return, but penciling him in for Friday might be premature. Richards said he has his fingers crossed for Murray to be ready sooner than later, but “it might be pushing it” to suggest Friday as a possibility.
- One other note: Brian Gibbons, who was placed on waivers yesterday, cleared waivers at noon ET and has been assigned to Springfield (AHL).