Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Columbus 5 Dallas 4, OT

The Blue Jackets close out the season with a home ice overtime victory. The team gutted out a third period charge by Dallas as fans saw a 3-1 lead evaporate into a 4-3 deficit. On the power play Mark Hartigan scored the tying goal with less than a minute left in the game. In overtime, Sergei Federov scored on the power play, assisted by Hartigan and Vyborny.

Other Columbus goals scored by Vyborny, Letowski and Pushor. Denis faces 36 shots from Dallas including 15 in the third period.

Good news... Before the game the team announced that Rusty Klesla had been signed to a four year deal. Ron Hainsey ended the season +13.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Columbus 4 St. Louis 1

The Jackets continue their strong play shutting down the Blues. Sergei Federov played one of his better games as a Blue Jacket, scoring a power play goal and an assist. Mark Hartigan, Aaron Johnson and Manny Malhotra had the other goals for Columbus. Solid pressure kept St. Louis at bay for the entire game.

Paul Leclaire was again solid in goal. He is an impressive 9-6-2 in his last eighteen games. Leclaire and Denis have not gotten enough ink for their contribution to the second-half turnaround by the Blue Jackets. The team has a solid tandem that hopefully will be back next year to build upon this season's effort.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Detroit 6 Columbus 5, SO

A hat trick by Rick Nash was not enough to beat a tough Red Wings squad on Detroit ice.
Nash and the Jackets gave the Wings a scare with another third period comeback, but Legace stoned Columbus in the shootout.

Hard to find good things in a loss, but the continued strong play from the offense is fun to watch. While we knew Nash was the real deal, the continued strong play of Mark Hartigan during this late season end run has been exciting.

Misc: Nash's final goal was scored after Denis had been pulled for an extra skater. Detroit won the faceoff battle by a huge margin: 48-26. Zherdev missed his second game in a row with a bad knee.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Columbus 3 Nashville 1

Six in a row! Another impressive road victory for the team that no one wants to play yet will not be in the playoffs. Chimera, Malhotra and Hartigan scored for Columbus. During this late season surge Chimera and Hartigan have been playing very solidly for the Jackets.

Lecalire stops 36 of 37 shots on goal for the victory. Columbus has gotten solid play from Leclaire and Denis and the defense in general in the season's second half.

A sign of the solid team play: in terms of +/- ratio, last night 12 Blue Jackets were at least +1 and no one was negative.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Columbus 5 Chicago 2

Another good win powered by a strong third period. Goals by Hartigan (2), Balastik and Vyborny helped the Jackets to their third straight win. Zherdev had the other goal for Columbus. Mark Denis was sharp in goal, stopping 27 of 29 shots.

Despite being out of the playoff race, it is exciting to see how Gallant has the team playing now: playing strong through the end of the game. I hate to see the season come to a close given the team's strong play. Next season they need to jump out of the gate and build upon this year's finish. I can't wait to see a healthy Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev for a full season.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Columbus 4 St. Louis 2

The Jackets do what they need to do to move to the next level: put away games against teams they should beat. A solid road win powered by two goals from the hot Rick Nash.

Balastik and Chimera had the other goals for the Blue Jackets. Lalime stops 28 of 30 shots for the victory. Good special team play as they went 1-4 (Nash) on the power play and they killed off all seven chance by St. Louis.