One of the most glaring statistics in the first two weeks of this NHL season has been the inter-conference dominance by the West: after last night's slate of games, the West has a 27-6-3 record against the East.
As one of two newcomers in the East, the Blue Jackets haven't seen much of the West in their first four games. The lone match-up was a 4-3 opening night loss to the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena, so there's some first-hand evidence of the West's mastery to this point. Will it even out? Quite possibly yes, but right now, it's fairly one-sided and on Sunday, it was a 4-0 whitewash by Western teams.
In the short term, the Blue Jackets are keeping it in-conference and they begin a week away from Columbus when they depart for Detroit this afternoon. They will play three road games in the next six days and all three against Eastern Conference opponents (Detroit, Montreal and Washington) before closing with a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday, the latter being a home date against Vancouver.
Good vibes should be prevalent on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena. The Blue Jackets went 4-0-1 against their former Central Division foes in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign with the only blemish a shootout loss on opening night in Columbus. The Blue Jackets won both games in Detroit - including that memorable spin-o-rama goal from Vinny Prospal in the final minute - and exacted some revenge on a team that's had their number over the years.
One housekeeping note: Tuesday's game was moved to an 8 p.m. ET start time in Detroit because of the American League Championship Series (MLB) game between the Tigers and Red Sox taking place at Comerica Park.
NOT WORRIED ABOUT BOB
The Blue Jackets' reigning Vezina Trophy winner has posted some very Bobrovsky-like numbers in the first four games of the season, but that didn't spare him from a post-game question asked of Todd Richards on Saturday.
Bruins goals scored by Chris Kelly (a 60-foot slap shot) and Loui Eriksson (a bad-angle backhander) weren't the prettiest goals ever scored, and Richards admitted Bobrovsky would probably like a second attempt at both saves. But with a 2.21 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in four starts, it's safe to say Bobrovsky has done his share between the pipes for the Blue Jackets.
"I've watched Bob and I've watched him at his best...I'd assume, knowing Bob, that he'd like those two shots back," Richards said. "He had to fight through a lot of traffic (on Saturday) and dealt with a lot of big bodies in front of him. I've thought the same thing every time about Bob: he battles and he competes on everything."
Bobrovsky, under duress for long stretches against Boston, made 34 saves and went toe-to-toe with Tuukka Rask.
CALVERT, COMEAU ON THE MEND
Matt Calvert, who dealt with a nagging lower-body issue during training camp, did not play for the Blue Jackets on Saturday. In his spot, Boone Jenner slotted in on left wing with Artem Anisimov and Blake Comeau, but a second-period injury to Comeau shuffled up the lines once again.
Comeau was cut above the ankle by another player's skate and was taken out of the game as a precaution, Richards said. Comeau was scheduled to see team doctors on Sunday, and Richards said he expects to know more about both players' statuses before they head out to Detroit.
"I think we'll probably have some idea on Monday morning," Richards said. "We'll see how these injuries go, as far as their bodies calming down a bit and then reassessing. It's something (Calvert) had some troubles with during training camp, and it's started to flare up again. We're just taking it a look at it and seeing where he's at.
"As a coach, these are the things that you expect to happen in games, and that's injuries in general. You expect some bangs here and some nicks there. You have an idea sometimes that somebody might miss four or five days, but the ones you aren't planning about are the long ones."