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Game Day HUB: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

October 31st. | NATIONWIDE ARENA


Sean Collins --> WATCH HERE
Ryan Johansen --> WATCH HERE
Ryan Murray --> WATCH HERE
Todd Richards --> WATCH HERE

Cam Atkinson jams home a power play goal --> WATCH HERE | LISTEN HERE

The Blue Jackets find themselves in a familiar spot, down 2-0 here on home ice with 20 minutes to play. They’ve made a bad habit of this lately and it’s putting a lot of stress on the defense and goaltenders to keep the score within striking distance, and if not for McElhinney, this game may well be out of range. He made three sparkling saves in the second period and was dented only by a nice re-direct from David Clarkson (power play goal) that boosted the Leafs’ lead to 2-0. The Foligno/Chaput/Skille trio has done well to create energy and some turnovers but the Jackets haven’t been able to beat Jonathan Bernier, who’s been tested a few times in the Toronto net. It’s a big third period looming for the Blue Jackets, who need at least three goals to stave off their fourth straight loss. Shots are 25-18 favoring the Leafs after two periods.

Second Period Highlights --> WATCH HERE

A pretty even period to start things off. The only difference so far is a Phil Kessel goal - his sixth of the season - that withstood a lengthy video review late in the first period, giving the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jackets were pinned in their own zone on this particular shift, and Curtis McElhinney made a strong initial save but the rebound bounced over to Kessel, who slammed the puck off the skate of Fedor Tyutin (who dropped back to play some goal) but was far enough over the line for the NHL Situation Room to overturn the “no goal” call on the ice. The Blue Jackets had two power play chances in the first period but didn't get much going, and they also caught a break on their second power play when Tyler Bozak hit the left post on a shorthanded breakaway. Shots are 9-9 after 20 minutes.

First period highlights --> WATCH HERE

Ryan Johansen, Nick Foligno, Sean Collins, and head coach Todd Richards spoke after this morning's skate...

Ryan Johansen --> WATCH HERE
Nick Foligno --> WATCH HERE
Sean Collins --> WATCH HERE
Todd Richards --> WATCH HERE

*Todd Richards confirmed that Sean Collins will be in the lineup tonight. Brian Gibbons will be scratched.
*Richards, on the Blue Jackets penalty kill that has surrendered six goals in the last four games: "There have been a couple nights when our penalty kill definitely needed to be better, but there's been other nights the penalty kill has been good. Whether the other team has just executed and made a play or maybe we've had one little breakdown, the puck ends up in the back of our net.  I don't think there are major overhaul changes we need to make to our penalty kill. It's also a matter of getting some players back."

* "We've lost three in a row. We've played good hockey at times but there hasn't been that consistency," said Richards.  "For us, it's about getting back to that consistent hockey and finding ways to win games."

* According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, Jonathan Bernier is expected in goal tonight for the Maple Leafs.

* The Blue Jackets skated with the same line combinations as yesterday's practice, with Brian Gibbons and Sean Collins rotating on the fourth line with Jared Boll and Adam Cracknell.  

*There was a switch in the defense pairings, as Tim Erixon took reps with Dalton Prout and Jack Johnson skated with Fedor Tyutin. Cody Goloubef rotated in with Tyutin and Johnson and appears the likely candidate to be scratched tonight.

*Curtis McElhinney was in the home net and appears to have the start in goal tonight.

*Boone Jenner skated for the fourth straight practice, but did not participate in line rushes with the team. He did take part in light shooting drills before practice with assistant coach Brad Larsen, and some full-ice shooting drills later in practice.

These were the lines and pairings used during Thursday's practice...




*Nick Foligno (neck) practiced Thursday and was a full particpant. He's expected to play tonight against the Maple Leafs, and skated on a line with Alexander Wennberg and Jack Skille.

*Matt Calvert did not practice Thursday and will not play tonight. He's not eligible to be activated off injured reserve until tonight's game is over. There has been no update (yet) as to whether he'll be available for Saturday's game in New Jersey.

*Curtis McElhinney is expected to start in goal for Columbus.

*Boone Jenner practiced Thursday and is getting closer to a return. We've got the full story and reaction from Jenner on

*Brian Gibbons and Sean Collins have been recalled from Springfield and both practiced with the Blue Jackets yesterday in Columbus.

*Mark Letestu and James Wisniewski were placed on injured reserve Thursday. Letestu is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a groin injury sustained in Tuesday's game against Ottawa, while Wisniewski broke a finger in that game and will be out 1-2 weeks.

Welcome to Game No. 10 of the Blue Jackets season! Yes, you've probably heard by now about the mounting injuries facing the Jackets early in the 2014-15 campaign. Columbus enters tonight's game against Toronto missing nine regulars, but there appears to be good news on the horizon. We'll catch you up on all the news from the last few days and bring you LIVE coverage of the morning skate.

Today's morning skate is also streaming live on, the #CBJ mobile app and our official YouTube channel. Bob McElligott brings you the latest from the rink starting at 10 a.m., and you can watch it all on the video player at the top of the page.
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