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Overheard: The Morning Skate

by Staci Pawlak / Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets are back in action tonight at Nationwide Arena, taking on the San Jose Sharks before embarking on a six-game road trip out West. The puck drops at 7 p.m., and the Blue Jackets are hoping to build off the “good things” from last night’s loss against the Edmonton Oilers.

Although today’s skate was optional with only 10 skaters and both goalies participating in drills run by assistant coach Dan Hinote, head coach Todd Richards still had a lot to say post-skate. Here are a few of the highlights:

Takeaways from Edmonton:

Despite allowing a short-handed goal late in the game yesterday to give the Oilers the upper hand, the Blue Jackets improved in many areas. They registered 40 shots in the game and forced the Oilers to play in their defensive zone, but could not put more than one goal on the board.

Richards called the game a “disappointment,” but said they need to focus on the good things that came from it.

“That was one of our better games. We still forced them into areas that we needed to force them into,” he said. “Last night was a good step, a really good step. You gotta come off that came and you gotta build off the positives that we did.

“I think we have a lot of things that we can build off of from last night. Again, it’s where our game is headed, where we want it to go, where we think we can get it to.”

Scouting the Sharks:

The Sharks have been in town for a couple of days, and their coaches were at Nationwide Arena last night to take in the game. Richards called them a “really motivated team” and said he expects nothing less than their best tonight.

“They’re big, they play with speed," Richards said. "They have an identity in how they play. Their execution is sharp.”

While the Blue Jackets will have to manage playing back-to-back games, the Sharks will go into tonight’s game well-rested. Despite the challenge, Richards said it’s more important that they focus on building off of last night’s successes.

“Lots of shots, lots of chances, but I still think we need to go to the net with a purpose,” he said about his expectations for the Blue Jackets tonight.

“Sometimes we’re at the net, but we’re not finishing the job that’s required.”

Ouote of the Day:

“This game is the next biggest game. When we go out to LA, that’s the next biggest game. There’s huge emphasis with the shortened season on how important each game is.”  - Todd Richards

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