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Game Day Hub: Blue Jackets vs. Sharks

by BlueJackets.com Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

         

 

          



Wennberg Post Game

Bobrovsky Post Game

Richards Post Game

ANALYSIS: One would expect the Sharks to come back with a better second period, and if one did actually expect that, one’s expectations became reality. Got all that? Great. San Jose attacked with its trademark speed in the second period, forcing the Blue Jackets to spend a lot of time defending and a lot of time chasing - but Columbus managed to cash in on a power play opportunity, something they’ve done quite well lately. With the second unit out, Boone Jenner ripped a pass across to Jack Johnson, who crept all the way to the goal line before hitting a wide open Cam Atkinson at the back post. The Sharks were then rewarded for their solid second period, as Joe Pavelski scored his eighth goal of the year with 54.6 seconds left in the frame…and he had all day to let it go. Another big third period required from the Blue Jackets tonight and they can start by getting their forecheck back up and running.

Cam Atkinson goal

Second Period Highlights



ANALYSIS: An early goal and a physical first period is exactly what the Blue Jackets were looking for, and that’s what they got in the first period. As was the case last night, Adam Cracknell and his line mates started things off with a physical shift and came back with another about five minutes in, the second one resulting in the only goal of the game thus far. Cracknell received the puck down low, tried a wrap-around but instead got the puck out to left point where David Savard pounded his fourth goal of the year through Antti Niemi. It was one of a few good looks for Savard in the first period and a quality period overall for the Blue Jackets, who are using their speed and size to win battles and hang on to pucks, and it’s allowing them to spend more time in the offensive zone. Shots are 11-9 San Jose after 20 minutes.

David Savard goal

First Period Highlights

UPDATE (1:00 PM): A busy afternoon for Blue Jackets hockey operations. Here's a brief recap...

- The team acquired veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold from the St. Louis Blues today. Leopold, 34, has played 12 seasons in the NHL and he's expected to join the team in time for tonight's game.

- Anisimov was activated off injured reserve today, so he's officially a go for tonight.

- Fedor Tyutin will miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained knee. Also: Matt Calvert was placed on IR retroactive to Nov. 7, so he's eligible to return at any time. He's listed as day-to-day (upper body).

UPDATE (11:30 AM): Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards just met with the media. Here are some highlights...

- Bobrovsky starts tonight vs. the Sharks. "He's one of the elite goaltenders in the league," Richards said. "So obviously, it's a boost for us."

- Artem Anisimov will also play tonight and center a line with Alexander Wennberg (LW) and Adam Cracknell (RW). Richards said with the Blue Jackets struggling in the face-off circle, adding an established center like Anisimov should help stabilize them on the dot.

- Fedor Tyutin won't play tonight, Richards said, and Frederic St-Denis will draw in. Tyutin (lower body) is being evaluated today and the team should know more about his recovery time tomorrow.

- Matt Calvert and Jack Skille are getting close to returns, as well. Both players skated in today's optional practice with assistant coach Brad Larsen and are possible for Tuesday's game vs. Detroit.

- Brandon Dubinsky is coming along and hasn't been ruled out for Tuesday. He skated with strength and conditioning coach Kevin Collins early this morning in the OhioHealth Ice Haus before joining the optional practice on the main ice.

Some pre-game nuggets...

- The Dispatch has reported that Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start tonight against the San Jose Sharks. We'll hear from Todd Richards after the optional skate and get confirmation.

- Fedor Tyutin suffered a lower body injury late in last night's game and will be re-evaluated this morning, Richards said. At this point, the severity of the injury isn't known.

- As for the forward lines, don't expect many changes for the Blue Jackets, who got contributions from everyone last night in addition to the success on the power play. In particular, the Tropp-Wennberg-Cracknell line played a solid game and spent a lot of time in the Flyers zone.

- If Tyutin can't play tonight, the Blue Jackets have Frederic St-Denis still here in Columbus and he can slot into the lineup.

- And in case you hadn't heard, Ryan Johansen recorded the first four-point game of his career last night in Philadelphia. He had two three-point efforts previously, and his four assists last night were a big part of the outcome.

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