BLUE JACKETS at FLAMES
WEDNESDAY, 10 PM | SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME
WATCH: FOX Sports Ohio
LISTEN: CD 102.5 FM & BlueJackets.com
BLOG: "On the Road" with Bob & Jody
PHOTO GALLERY: CALGARY
BLUE JACKETS 2 | FLAMES 1
Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards' post-game meeting with the media in Calgary.
WATCH: Ryan Johansen addresses the media after the Jackets' overtime win over the Flames.
FROM THE COACH: Todd Richards addresses the media following tonight's 2-1 OT win ---> RICHARDS
LISTEN: Ryan Johansen discusses tonight's win over the Flames ---> JOHANSEN
WATCH: Nikitin's OT winner that secured the extra point for the Blue Jackets!
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! Nikita Nikitin's OT goal gives the Jackets a huuuuuge bounce back win. Listen to the call --> HERE!
SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: Scoreless second period at the Saddledome, but the Blue Jackets have played a smart defensive game in the first 40 minutes and hold a 1-0 lead as a result. Shots are 15-13 favoring Calgary to this point, but much of the possession time has belonged to the Jackets and it has been the Letestu-MacKenzie-Comeau line standing out. Those three have hounded pucks down low in the offensive zone and cranked up the cycle game, which has forced the Flames defensemen to spend a lot of time chasing pucks and playing in their own zone. Sergei Bobrovsky got some help from his goal post in the second period, but also made a diving stop (with no stick) not that same sequence. Both goalies have made a pretty stellar stop in this game, but the Jackets' team defense has served them well. A big 20 minutes ahead.
FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets wanted to come back with a "response" type of game tonight, and they are off to a good start after 20 minutes in Calgary. Nick Foligno's fifth goal of the season - a laser-like wrist shot over the shoulder of Reto Berra - gave Columbus a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period and we're seeing evidence of their style of game early on. The forecheck has been aggressive, they're laying the body and staying out of the box, which is exactly what teams want to do on the road. Shots were 7-6 Calgary in the first period, and Berra's best save was a flailing kick save in mid-air that robbed Jack Johnson of the opening goal.
WATCH: Here's the highlight of Foligno's fifth goal of the season.
UPDATE (10:25 PM): Nick Foligno gave the Jackets a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal of the year in the first period. Listen to the goal --> HERE.
UPDATE (9:40 PM): Reto Berra, the Swiss net minder acquired by Calgary in the Jay Bouwmeester trade last season, gets the start tonight for the Flames.
UPDATE (9:35 PM): Based on tonight's warmup, here's what the Jackets lines could look like...
Defense pairs appear to remain the same as last night in Edmonton.
WATCH: Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards holds his pre-game media scrum before taking on Calgary tonight.
WATCH: Jack Skille talks about getting back in the Jackets' lineup in his pre-game interview.
WATCH: Cam Atkinson's pre-game interview with Bob McElligott on Jackets TV.
UPDATE (2:25 PM): Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards spoke this morning about the Jackets' Jekyll & Hyde nature and the need to establish consistency. Listen to his pre-game comments --> RICHARDS
UPDATE (2:20 PM): Jack Skille is slated to play tonight for the Jackets and he talked about his plan to bring some energy to the lineup. Listen to his comments --> SKILLE
UPDATE (2:15 PM): Cam Atkinson talks with Bob McElligott about tonight's game in Calgary and how the Jackets can bounce back. Listen to his interview --> ATKINSON
UPDATE (1:45 PM): Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards just met with the media in Calgary. Here are some snippets from his pre-game session:
- Brandon Dubinsky will not play tonight after suffering a foot injury last night in Edmonton.
- In Dubinsky's place, Jack Skille will draw into the lineup.
- Richards said some other players will be game-time decisions but as of now, no other changes are written in stone.
- Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start in goal for the Blue Jackets tonight. He was pulled after the Oilers' fourth goal early in the second period last night.
UPDATE (1:35 PM): Jeff Rimer reports that Brandon Dubinsky tested his foot injury on the ice this morning but will not play tonight in Calgary.
UPDATE (8:00 AM): In case you missed it last night, here's the post-game interview with Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards after a 7-0 loss in Edmonton. Some candid, frustrated words in here from Richards, who said some players "just wanted to get through it" last night and was really disappointed with the overall effort.
After making the quick trip from snowy Edmonton over to Calgary late last night, the Blue Jackets will be at the Scotiabank Saddledome this morning but it's not yet known whether they will hold a formal pre-game skate. Whether they skate or not, we will meet with some of the players and coach Todd Richards to get their thoughts on tonight's game against the Flames. Stay tuned to Game Day Central for the latest updates as they become available.
On the second night of back-to-back games, the Blue Jackets could make some minor lineup changes before their game against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
They saw one important piece - rookie forward Boone Jenner
- play his first game since Oct. 25 over the weekend in Ottawa, and after a Monday practice at Rexall Place, coach Todd Richards said he wasn't sure if Matt Calvert
would be able to play in Alberta but they would continue to monitor the situation.
Aside from Calvert and Marian Gaborik
(placed on injured reserve last week), the last big piece that the Blue Jackets are waiting on would be Nathan Horton
. Horton isn't close to a return, but he is with the team on this road trip and took part in an optional skate on Monday
As for the starting goaltender tonight, we'll know more after meeting with Richards, but he may opt to split starts with another game upcoming on Friday in Vancouver.
The Blue Jackets don't have the fondest of memories of the Calgary Flames.
After all, it was this surprising and upstart Flames squad ruined the opening night party in Columbus back on Oct. 4. Though Calgary has sputtered in recent weeks and begun to fall down the Western Conference standings, the Flames are a pesky and aggressive team that forces opponents to be on their game, for fear of it being a long night at the rink.
One thing the Flames like to do is stretch the ice, and the Blue Jackets got a strong dose of that on opening night. Calgary repeatedly used 100-foot passes (sometimes longer) to escape the zone and move the puck up the ice, forcing the Blue Jackets to play much of the game on their heels. It was a 2-2 tie into the third period, a deadlock that Jiri Hudler broke with under eight minutes to play; Hudler, down left wing, ripped a rising slap shot over the shoulder of Sergei Bobrovsky
to give the Flames a 3-2 advantage, bringing a pronounced silence to what was earlier a very lively Nationwide Arena
The Blue Jackets weren't happy with their performance in that game, and in the weeks since, have honed in on getting back to "Blue Jackets hockey" and the style that brought them success in 2012-13. In their 4-1 victory over the Senators on Sunday, the Blue Jackets were heavy on the forecheck, directed pucks at the net and out-worked the Senators for secondary opportunities. In facing a Flames club that saw a 2-0 lead vanish on home to rival Edmonton last weekend, the Blue Jackets know their opponent will be desperate to get back on track. As they always do, the Flames will look to push the pace and get the Jackets' defense turned around in an attempt to turn pucks over.
They'll use this game as an opportunity to erase the sting of Tuesday's loss in Edmonton, which Nick Foligno called "disgusting" and Todd Richards called "our worst three periods of the year."
Puck management happens to be a big item on Richards' agenda as the Blue Jackets look to string wins together. During their periods of struggle this season, they have been guilty of poor decisions with the puck and the turnovers have come back to haunt them.
at VANCOUVER CANUCKS
FRIDAY, 10 P.M.