Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh



The Blue Jackets make their only visit to Pittsburgh this season, and unlike when the Pens visited Columbus, they won’t have half the city filling the Consol Energy Center.

7:00pm EST, Consol Energy Center

Fox Sports Ohio, High Definition

Don’t try to tell me that the Blue Jackets have forgotten what happened that fateful Saturday night in December in Nationwide Arena.

The Blue Jackets, their fans, the entire city and organization were embarrassed by a group of fans that has swelled due to recent great successes, and were promptly run out of their own building.

The Pens are coming off of a tough loss to bitter-rival Washington, while the Jackets are riding pretty high off of back-to-back wins against Detroit and Edmonton.

The Jackets need to remain in desperation mode if they want to overcome a depleted and scrappy Pittsburgh squad. The Penguins boast the Eastern Conferences best defensive corps… the Vancouver of the East perhaps, but as everyone knows are without star forwards Evgeni Malkin and Sid “The Kid” Crosby.

To come away from Steeltown tonight with 2 points, the Jackets must red-hot winger RJ Umberger (who plays in his hometown tonight) and must continue to play solid D in front of Steve Mason.

Huge two points on the line, even if it is the Eastern Conference.

Go Jackets.


Embarrassment – JACKETS LOSE

PIT 7 – CBJ 2

I’m still in shock.

Yeah we knew there would be lots of Pittsburgh fans, yes our team was coming off of a 5-0 shutout loss on the road, but there’s no way anybody saw this coming.

Before we move past the game itself and commence the griping about game ops, management, and bad fans, let’s talk about the game for a sec.

Steve Mason… what in the wide world of sports was that? 4 goals on 13 shots in less than 16 minutes of game time. Somebody needs to get his head screwed on straight.

While getting thrashed you would expect someone to step-up for the Jackets. It’d have been nice if someone like Rick Nash, RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette, ANYONE would have stepped up. But, if we’re going to have to rely on Chris Clark throughout this season… then the hot start by the Jackets will quickly be forgotten. Kudos to Chris in all seriousness, but you can’t be a playoff team when you rely on grinders to carry your team. He was the only player with a positive +/-

After the massacre in Nationwide, usually I’d be able to laugh it off and talk about the “same ole Jackets”, but there was a significant difference between this loss and any ugly loss prior… had my favorite line that captures the whole night in one sentence:

The shots are 16-2 Penguins (after the first period), meaning the Pens would still be winning even without a goalie.

That’s how thorough the domination on the ice was last night, and that doesn’t even begin to describe what happened in the stands.

The real embarrassment of the night came in the stands. During college and years since then, I’ve dealt with opposing fans, and almost always it has been a positive experience of learning and entertainment. None of my personal interactions with Pens fans last night were negative but the handling of their presence was a major issue.

First were the Pens fans riding the zamboni’s prior to the game… see photo evidence (again from ThePensblog):

Unacceptable. Wake up game ops. If some bandwaggoner shows up for their zamboni ride wearing the opposing team’s jersey, you tell them “Take it off or you don’t ride”. Simple as that.

If we’re worried about hurting the feelings of opposing fans then sportsmanship and political correctness has gone too far.

These comments were found on Twitter after the debacle:

From Neal K:

And another from Steve M.:

What a complete mess. I thought it was annoying when Red Wings and Blues fans were participating in intermission on-ice entertainment, and now this.

The real problem in my opinion comes from the sheer amount of Penguins fans. There was no way I didn’t expect there to be plenty, but when your own season ticket holders are sharing the pre-sale code during the summer with opposing fans, THAT IS A MAJOR PROBLEM. The ticketing director needs to plug this leak and now. It may be a lot more work on their part, but to even put a dent in the amount of opposing fans buying tickets early would be a good first step.

It’s as simple as this, assign specific codes for every season ticket holder when the pre-sale is announced, if that code is found being made public, you simply revoke the PSL and slap them in the face.

Light the Lamp and I feel similarly on a lot of things, but there’s another issue to touch on….

Using the excuse that “I don’t want to be surrounded by opposing fans” or “We haven’t proved anything” or any number of lame excuses for not coming out to support OUR team is an absolute travesty.

This was a HUGE game against a regional rival who just happens to be THE premiere team in the National Hockey League.

Leave the excuses to politicians.

Our job as fans is to support the team, without our support, the team does not stay. Without our support what happened last night happens more and more often. When season ticket holders share the pre-sale code, and sell their tickets for big games to try to make a few bucks, this is when hope fades, desire to improve, all things necessary to have a healthy team and fan base, slowly but surely disappear.

Every Jackets blog that I read has a post of either “OMG freak out about everything” or “Strip the Captaincy from Nash” or “DON’T Worry guys, I know better”.

Nobody knows what the future holds.

No one can tell us what Scott Arniel is thinking.

No one knows what Rick Nash has to do to get this team going.

We all must embrace what we have, push through the anger and disappointment and help this team.

When they play hard, the deserve your support and dollars.

When they play hard, the may not deserve your support, but if you already spent the money, the deserve you there watching and waiting for signs of life.

It wasn’t long ago that we had this kind of atmosphere with a much more positive outcome and series of events following the Pittsburgh game.

Even a bad loss doesn’t ruin life, things have to get better and go the right way.

It was a pleasure meeting as many Penguins fans as I did, I just wish Rick Nash would’ve led his team with more than a few big hits.

Go Jackets.



Time to buckle down and cheer the Jackets out of their slump… against the streaking Penguins.

7:00pm EST, Nationwide Arena

Fox Sports Ohio, High Definition

Short preview today, long drive and crappy weather awaits.

Jackets have to show up tonight, a win would be nice, but they HAVE TO PLAY.

Go Jackets.


Showing some Fight – JACKETS LOSE

The Jackets put forth a solid effort in their 3rd loss of the pre-season, again at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both the Jackets and Pens iced talented line-ups and ended up with a game featuring 74 total PIMs including 10 fighting majors.

This being my first CBJ game of the pre-season to actually watch, I was impressed with a few guys, and underwhelmed with a few others:

While this is just the pre-season, Derick Brassard’s face-off percentage has me very worried. In 24 face-offs he won only 6, SIX! A mere 25% for a player with top-line expectations isn’t going to cut it. Now, thankfully Brassard isn’t yet our full-time 1st line center, but he was respectable when facing off against THE Sidney Crosby, winning 3 of 9. This is definitely an area Brassard must improve in if he is to be any more than a tweener 2nd-3rd line center.

The defensemen were a solid group, but no one really stuck out, which is a good and bad thing at times. I want to see more offensive prowess from John Moore, I want to see more body-banging from Jan Hejda and Fedor Tyutin. David Savard, Nate Guenin, and Michael Ratchuk left something to be desired. Ratchuk’s goal seemed more a result of his experiences as a forward convert last season in Syracuse.

Again today I am left wondering what place Jared Boll has on this team. His fight last night was anything but awe-inspiring, just the typical jab-and-grab-on-and-shake-wildly crap we are used to from him.


On the other hand, what more can you say about Rick Nash? Fans criticize his leadership from time-to-time and the defense is that he leads by scoring goals and winning games. Well, last night Nash, and the Jackets in general, put up quite a fight defending themselves. While Nash may have “lost” his fight, he was beastly in going for the kill shot right from the start, but missed instead of knocking out Evgeni Malkin.

(via Puck Daddy)

After watching Steve Mason play in an entire game for the Jackets, I think it’s safe to say that he won’t be anywhere near as bad as last season. There were flashes of brilliance throughout the entire game as he would make back-to-back saves without hesitation. There was also positive body language as Mason played near the top of his crease whenever logical and he repeatedly stood tall under pressure. The 3 goals given up were all excusable in my opinion and something that a full line-up would have helped him out more.

In other news, the Penguins have quickly become one of those teams full of people to hate in the NHL. Arron Asham, Matt Cooke, Eric Godard are all agitating, dirty players that get down and gritty and can really annoy opposing players (and fans). Kris Letang is quite the bitch as he seemed to really tick off Jake Voracek and Matt Calvert. Malkin is just Malkin, he’s sooo talented but can stand up for himself, I would take him on our team in a heartbeat.

While a loss is a loss, a loss in the pre-season can be spun positively and not sound like a super-crazy, kool-aid-drinking, fan.

Go Jackets.


Pre-season Game 4, Pittsburgh Penguins

After a loss in Columbus to the Penguins last night, the Blue Jackets alternate team gets a shot against a loaded Pittsburgh line-up, this time in the newly opened Consol Energy Center.

7:00pm, Consol Energy Center

Tape delay replays on the NHL Network tonight at 1:00am and tomorrow morning at 8:00am

From the Blue Jackets official site, tonight’s line-ups:

Forwards: Matt Calvert, Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard, Derek MacKenzie, Nikita Filatov, Ryan Johansen, Trevor Frischmon, Jared Boll, Maksim Mayorov, Rick Nash, Oliver Gabriel, Jakub Voracek

Defense: Nate Guenin, John Moore, Jan Hejda, Theo Ruth, Fedor Tyutin, David Savard, Michael Ratchuk

Goaltenders: Steve Mason, Daren Machesney

The line-up that was fairly soft on defense 4 nights ago has a chance to make a statement against not only Sidney Crosby, but also Evgeni Malkin:

Forwards: Pascal Dupuis, Brett Sterling, Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Conner, Tim Wallace, Ryan Craig, Nick Johnson, Eric Tangradi, Arron Asham, Joe Vitale, Tyler kennedy, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby

Defense: Corey Potter, Zbynek Michalek, Deryk Engelland, Andrew Hutchinson, Steve Wagner, Brooks Orpik, Simon Despres, Kris Letang

Goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury, Brad Thiessen

I’d love to see Nash find a way to get going tonight, presumably alongside Johansen like he was in Wednesday’s home-opener. This will be many fans first chance to catch the team on TV, while not live, on TV instead of having to go or watch online will be a very nice move towards normalcy.

News and notes: has this interview with the Blue Jackets Captain, Rick Nash.

The Minnesota Wild took a big hit today as it was revealed that goaltender Josh Harding has a torn ACL and MCL, taking him out for the remainder of the season.

From Puck-rakers, Grant Clitsome was injured last night, this puts a major damper on his ability to challenge for a NHL roster spot to start the season, and potentially gives John Moore a GREAT chance to make the team, or to at least travel to Sweden with the Blue Jackets.

Go Jackets.


Don’t waste your hats – JACKETS LOSE

(Tyler again with the game-wrap-up for The Jacketsblog. Enjoy his thoughts… I look forward to getting to watch a CBJ game, even on tape delay tomorrow night!)

It always seems to be a spirited affair when the Penguins roll into town. Even though it was a preseason game, this was no different. Here are a few things that stood out tonight:

  • Tomas Kubalik played a great game. The big forward scored a hat trick and helped keep the Blue Jackets in the game with a few timely goals. Ironically, Kubalik scored all three goals from in front of the net. Two were redirected passes from Vermette and Huselius. The hat tossing goal was a great rebound snap shot off a slapper from Rusty Klesla. It was a great moment for someone who seemed to be all over the ice and truly earned the few hats that were tossed on the ice
  • It was great to see Rusty Klesla back on the ice tonight, that much is certain. What was impressive was watching Rusty join the rush on a few plays, threw a couple of hits, and appear to be more mobile than most give him credit (or expect after his injury). With that being said, Rusty also seemed to wear a path to the sin bin. Rusty took three penalties on the night, including a terrible high sticking double minor of a face off. There is no better way to say it, Rusty looked rusty tonight.
  • The Jackets took way to many penalties tonight. Not only did they take a ton of penalties, the Jackets allowed 3(!) power play goals, including a 5-3. According to the Columbus Dispatch, special teams was one of the last thing that head coach Scott Arniel was implementing this preseason. I would like to say this is just a blip on the radar, but it bears watching over the next few preseason games.

  • Somehow, someway, Marc Methot ended the night with a +1 rating tonight. This is very surprising statistic to me (and why I don’t put much stock in the +/- rating system). Methot seemed to misplay about 80% of the pucks that he came near. He even had a Pens goal deflect off his back side (in Methot’s defense, it did deflect off of Klesla first). Methot is one of the defenseman that needs to step it up this year for the Jackets to compete. Again, here’s hoping that Marc just had an off night.

This game became pretty chippy towards the end of the game. It will be interesting to see if any of this carries over into Saturday’s game. Finally, after seeing Arniel’s system the past few nights, it seems to produce a lot of shots and scoring opportunities for the Blue Jackets. This can only mean good things going forward.

Go Jackets!


Pre-season game 3, Pittsburgh Penguins

The Jackets enter their 3rd pre-season game of the year with few questions answered. Judging the goals against Steve Mason or Mathieu Garon is not really fair to do, considering the defensive line-ups in front of them. Tonight Garon will get a good chance to have another good game with an almost complete blue-line in front of him. Thinking back to Wednesday’s game where Sieve Mason gave up 2 goals, look at the line-up in front of him. Only 2 NHL regulars from last season.

Via Puck-rakers, here is tonight’s line-up for the Blue Jackets:

F1: Kristian Huselius – Antoine Vermette – Tomas Kubalik
F2: R.J. Umberger – Kyle Wilson – Chad Kolarik
F3: Ethan Moreau – Sammy Pahlsson – Mike Blunden
F4: Tom Sestito – Andrew Murray – Chris Clark

D1: Rostislav Klesla – Anton Stralman
D2: Grant Clitsome – Mike Commodore
D3: Marc Methot – Cody Goloubef

G1: Mathieu Garon
G2: David LeNeveu

Extras: Jonathan Sigalet, D; Dalton Prout, D.

A smattering of NHL talent will be on display for the Jackets, and the potential 3rd line to start the year will be on display. 9 of 12 forwards played in the NHL regularly last season, and 5 of the 6 d-men played for the big club last year too.

And also via Puck-rakers, here is tonight’s Penguins line-up:

Forward: Mark Letestu, Chris Kunitz, Dustin Jeffrey, Mike Rupp, Chris Conner, Mike Comrie, Matt Cooke, Max Talbot, Craig Adams, Eric Godard, Nick Johnson, Arron Asham.

Defense: Alex Goligoski, Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy, Paul Martin, Steve Wagner, Robert Bortuzzo.

Goaltender: Brent Johnson, John Curry.

The Pens are definitely dressing a gritty line-up with the likes of Rupp, Cooke, Godard and Asham, those who love fights should enjoy watching the Jackets and Penguins go at it tonight.

By the way, I received my pre-season NHL Shop catalog and noticed these kinda cool shirts for the NHL Premiere Games in Sweden:

Go Jackets.

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