The Blue Jackets got some good news even before they took the ice for practice today at Nationwide Arena.
Fedor Tyutin, out since suffering a broken nose in the first period of a Nov. 20 game against the Nashville Predators, returned to the ice and took part in the full skate with his teammates. Normally a player who opts to go without the visor, Tyutin was wearing a half-visor for Thursday’s practice.
Also on the ice was David Clarkson, who’s been skating on his own at the OhioHealth Ice Haus in recent days and was cleared to take part full-go today. For the first time in a while, the Blue Jackets had more than enough players on the ice for practice – a positive and welcomed development as they try to get back on track after a pair of disappointing losses in St. Louis and Montreal.
John Tortorella said he’s not sure what his lineup will look like tomorrow vs. Florida, but Tyutin said after practice that he felt great during the skate.
“I felt good after this practice, so we’ll see,” Tyutin said. “I feel confident enough and feel good enough to play.”
As for the visor, it’s not a big deal, he said. Tyutin said he has to wear it for the immediate future.
“It’s a lot easier when you have to, you know?”
Other stuff from the rink today:
- Expect Sergei Bobrovsky to start tomorrow night at home against the Panthers, a team that’s been playing some really good hockey of late. The Blue Jackets, again, have a back-to-back this weekend and they’ll head to Philadelphia immediately after tomorrow’s game with another goaltending decision to make.
- For reference, Bobrovsky has made the majority of the back-to-back starts so far this season, most recently last weekend against Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
- The Blue Jackets showed off a new-look line of William Karlsson centering Matt Calvert and Alexander Wennberg today. No certainty that it remains intact tomorrow or beyond, but it was an interesting look with the two Swedes (both natural centers) together along with Calvert, who’s played well with Karlsson.
- A lot of work on the power play today, and for good reason. The Blue Jackets’ power play, which started the season a fairly good clip and kept them in games, has been a sore spot of late and particularly so on Tuesday night in Montreal. They were given a huge opportunity make a dent in the game when Alexei Emelin was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct late in the first period, putting Columbus on the power play for five minutes, all you can eat.
They ended up getting nothing out of it, and it came back to haunt them. Montreal needed a little more than 30 seconds to capitalize on its late-game power play chance when Max Pacioretty buried the game winner.
“Our power play has gone dry, and we spent a number of minutes today working on that,” Tortorella said. “We need to get into a more shooting mentality on our power play. Your power play never works in practice, it really never works. A big part of where I think we have struggled on our power play is the mentality of shooting, and even before that, is our willingness to get the puck back.
“I don’t think we have enough battle as far as getting the puck back…we’re a little bit too cute in making too many plays and looking for plays through seams.”