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Five Blue Jackets see their teams advance at World Championships

Tuesday's action to cap off group stage ahead of Thursday quarterfinals

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

With the opening round of the World Championships coming to a close, some of the seven Blue Jackets in Slovakia for the tournament are set to move on, while others are headed to their offseason homes. 

Zach Werenski (United States), Pierre-Luc Dubois (Canada), Alexander Wennberg (Sweden) and Vladislav Gavrikov (Russia) as well as prospect Veini Vehvilainen (Finland) all will see their teams make the eight-team quarterfinals, while Elvis Merzlikins (Latvia) and Alexandre Texier (France) saw their teams fail to advance from the eight-team round-robin pools. 

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The top 10 wins of 2018-19 for the Blue Jackets

Looking back at the most memorable victories of the year for Columbus

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

The Blue Jackets won a lot of games this past season. 

Fifty-two to be exact, which if you combine the regular season and the postseason is the most in one season in franchise history.  

They say a win is a win, but some wins are better than others. So we decided to look back and circle the ones that were a little extra special. Here's a list of the top 10 wins, as voted on by a panel of one, in the 2018-19 season. Agree or disagree? Let me know on Twitter at @JacketsInsider. 

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Stability Davidson helped build will continue on with Blue Jackets

Kekalainen hopes to continue to build winner on, off ice

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

If the question facing the Columbus Blue Jackets is "Now what?" the answer appears to be a pretty simple one. 

In his seven years as president of hockey operations for the Blue Jackets, John Davidson oversaw the transformation of an organization. A franchise that had made the playoffs just once became marked by its stability, on the ice -- as one of seven franchises to make the playoffs each of the past three years -- and off of it. 

And now, that stability is what will carry the Blue Jackets through Davidson's resignation, announced Friday, to become president of the New York Rangers.  

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CBJ Snap Shots: Jones reached another level in playoffs

All-Star defenseman capped season with standout performance

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

As the Blue Jackets struggled to find their top gear down the stretch, Seth Jones was in the same boat personally.  

And much like how Columbus found its game come playoff time, so did Jones. 

He went from "frustrated," in his own words, to a player who turned heads across the NHL landscape. His impressive mix of skills has long been known, and he nearly won the Norris Trophy a year ago, but his name was all over the lips of the game's experts this postseason as he spearheaded the team's sweep of Tampa Bay and continued his strong play in the six-game loss to Boston. 

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Wennberg, Merzlikins standing out among Blue Jackets at Worlds

Swedish forward shining with five points in early going of tournament

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

At the World Championships, as Bon Jovi might say, we're halfway there, and some members of the Blue Jackets organization are seeing their teams livin' on a prayer. 

The group stage has passed the midway point, with each country having played four of its seven round-robin games, and some of the seven players with CBJ ties have excelled while others are seeing their teams struggle.  

Each of the two groups has eight teams, with all countries playing the other seven teams in their group in the round-robin stage, which runs through Tuesday. From there, the top four teams in each group will move on to the quarterfinals Thursday, with the last-place teams relegated out of the 2020 tournament. The semifinals and finals will be over Memorial Day weekend.

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CBJ Snap Shots: Dubois making a name for himself in NHL

Center is one of the league's best young players through two seasons

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

Things were different for Pierre-Luc Dubois in his second year than his first. 

First of all, he was better. He went from 20 goals, 28 assists and 48 points as in his initial season to 27 goals, 34 helpers and 61 total points. He also went from a wide-eyed rookie to a depended-upon member of the locker room, someone who was tasked with playing No. 1 center minutes on the top line with Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson for most of the season. 

Video: PLD talks about his focus for the summer

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World War II veteran honored by Jackets still calls central Ohio home

96-year-old Donald Jakeway receives Elk & Elk Military Salute during Boston series

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

By his own calculations, Donald Jakeway can think of about 40 times in World War II when he should have died.  

It goes well beyond the time he parachuted into German-occupied France in the hours before the Normandy invasion, or the time a Nazi sniper's bullet pierced his lung, then his ambulance rolled off the side of a mountain, killing everyone on board except Jakeway. 

There was the time "Jake" was commanded to lead a unit tasked with taking a hill that overlooked a key road in northern France, only to be ambushed by fire from the Hitler Youth. Or the time he was fighting in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge and looked up to find a sniper's rifle pointed right at him, a trigger pull away from death. 

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CBJ Snap Shots: Anderson reached another level this season

Physical forward posted career-high 27 goals but wants more

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

People in front offices and locker rooms across the NHL knew about Josh Anderson long before this season. 

But to the casual hockey fan, this season was his introduction, and it was an impressive one at that. Mr. Anderson may not be The One, but he's a unique hybrid in this day and age of hockey: fast, physical and able to alter the course of a hockey game with both his skill and his hits. 

Just two players in the top 20 in hits in the NHL this year scored more than 25 goals -- Anderson, who had 214 hits to place 19th in the league while scoring 27 goals, and Alex Ovechkin, who had 223 hits to place 16th in the NHL while scoring a league-best 51 goals.  

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CBJ Snap Shots: Gavrikov hopes to build on playoff experience

Defenseman showed his abilities in two games with Blue Jackets

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

The question was simple, and the answer was even simpler. 

Did Vladislav Gavrikov feel his two-game debut at the end of the Blue Jackets' Stanley Cup Playoffs run make the Russian defenseman feel like he proved to himself he can play at the NHL level?

"For sure," the 23-year-old replied. 

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