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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:44 am 
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Columbus continues trip in St. Louis
Mike Battaglino - NHL.com Staff Writer



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BLUE JACKETS (16-14-7) at BLUES (19-14-2)

TV: FS-O, FS-MW

Last 10: Columbus 6-2-2; St. Louis 6-4-0

Season series: This is the third of four meetings, with the last one coming next Friday. The St. Louis Blues won both previous games: 4-1 on Jan. 31 and 2-1 on Feb. 23, each with a different goaltender (Brian Elliott, Jaroslav Halak).

Big story: After the teams played at the end of January, St. Louis was 6-1-0 and Columbus was 2-5-1. They meet Friday with the Blues holding a one-point edge in the standings (40-39) as they compete for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot from the Western Conference.

Each team won Thursday at a place they had not recently: The Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in a shootout for their first win at United Center in nine games. The Blue Jackets won a game against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena in regulation for the first time since April 3, 2006.

Team Scope:

Blue Jackets: In addition to the debut of forward Marian Gaborik after an NHL Trade Deadline deal, Columbus welcomed back forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno from injury Thursday.

"You see a lot of new faces, a little bit of a change of scenery gave everybody a little bit of extra energy and some more legs tonight," defenseman Dalton Prout told Fox Sports Ohio. "And I think winning helps your energy levels all the time."

Gaborik had a goal and an assist for his first multipoint game since March 3 with the New York Rangers.

"I think the other thing [Gaborik] provides is kind of an intangible thing, about just confidence among our group," coach Todd Richards said. "Having a guy that's a threat to score a goal at any minute."

The Blue Jackets are 3-5-0 in the second of back-to-backs this season, all but one of those on the road.

"We have to play the same way [we did Thursday]," forward Matt Calvert said. "We're playing desperate hockey right now. We've just got to keep on climbing the standings because if you lose a game, it could mean your playoff hopes. We're going to keep on doing what we do best, play to our strengths … it's a tough barn to play in but we're going to go in there and give it our best shot."

Blues: St. Louis also added significant players, defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold, in trades this month. But perhaps more important, Elliot stopped 33 shots in his first start since March 3 after coming back in relief Monday when Halak was injured.

"You never want to see a teammate go down, but it's part of the job, you have to be ready to go in," said Elliot, who had made only one other appearance since Feb. 11. "Guys blocked a lot of shots that game [Monday] for me and let me kind of feel my way in, and it definitely carried into [Thursday] as well."

Jake Allen could start in net for the Blues, who are 2-4-1 in the second of back-to-backs.

"We need two points however we can get 'em: beg, borrow, steal, scratch and claw," captain David Backes told Fox Sports Midwest. "And that's the way we played tonight against a good team, and we need more efforts like that, and have to do it again tomorrow night."

Who's hot: Calvert has five points in his past four games. Dubinsky had two assists in his first game since March 19. … The Blues have killed 21 of their opponents' past 22 power plays. Forward Adam Cracknell scored his first two goals of the season Thursday. Forward Chris Porter had two assists, doubling his season's point total.

Injury report: Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll (lower body) and defenseman Tim Erixon (upper body) are out. … Blues forward Scott Nichol (soreness) is out. T.J. Oshie (bruised left foot) and Halak (groin) are on injured reserve.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:33 am 
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We're running into one hot goalie tonight. (He's stopped 68 of the last 69 shots he's faced)

We've got to crash the net, if we get back to our perimeter shooting, we could be looking at another zero goals on 30+ shots

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:49 am 
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DaDitka wrote:
We're running into one hot goalie tonight. (He's stopped 68 of the last 69 shots he's faced)

We've got to crash the net, if we get back to our perimeter shooting, we could be looking at another zero goals on 30+ shots


Run the hot goalie!
No really, (Frank) him!
Lets bury him in goals or have DP crush his skull!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:32 am 
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I'll be at this game.
Section 310
I'll be wearing my "Krigloch" Blues jersey.
(Franking) excited!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:38 am 
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Allen getting the start tonight. That surprises me some. I thought Elliott played well enough last night to get both starts.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:47 am 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
Allen getting the start tonight. That surprises me some. I thought Elliott played well enough last night to get both starts.


Looking ahead at Sunday's game vs. Detroit, I think you have to give Elliott a rest tonight (he has played a lot lately, he played in back to back nights for Peoria before being called back up the other day, plus OT and a shootout last night where he faced a lot of shots). Barring a stellar performance tonight by Allen, I think Elliott is back in net vs. Detroit on Sunday...so it makes sense to give him a rest tonight. Plus, we have a lot of games coming up in a short amount of time...14 games in the next 24 days...yikes. No more two-days-in-a-row off the rest of the way...so I doubt you see Elliott or Allen play in back to back nights on the 11th and 12th or 18th and 19th...unless one is really struggling and we simply are in a must win situation.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Blues 1
Jackets 0

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:17 pm 
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We need every game left in the season. Bad.

Blues 4
Jackets 2

Cmon boys. I say Cracknell gets another one tonight, he looked good last night, even outside of the two goals he scored.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:29 pm 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
We need every game left in the season. Bad.

Blues 4
Jackets 2

Cmon boys. I say Cracknell gets another one tonight, he looked good last night, even outside of the two goals he scored.


We don't NEED every point, but it would sure be nice.

We need 17 points out of our last 13 game to guarantee a ticket to the playoffs though..

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:43 pm 
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That was a great win. If Elliott is in net, it's probably a 4-2 loss.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:50 pm 
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2 points!! And in 7th place.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:30 am 
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Wasn't the prettiest game, by any measure. The Blues are still allowing too many chances in the slot and directly in front of the net. Most of their success last year was because they didn't let anyone in those spaces on a regular basis.

That being said, Allen came up huge and we were able to sneak in a few goals to seal the win. Huge to get 2 points. Still have games in hand on every team around us in the standings. Gotta keep getting as many points as possible.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:52 am 
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I thought Allen played great and I thought our forwards worked much harder last night (both ends).

Two things really bothered me and they have both been themes all year #1) we are absolutely the worst puck handling team in the league. I don't care if you're talking about passing the puck, receiving a pass, skating with the puck, or fighting for free pucks.....we suck. It's been a year long problem and something that we're clearly not practicing enough. (and for what it's worth....it's not something I've seen us work on when I make it out to Mills) #2....How many times last night did we have teammates running into each other? How many times did one take the puck from them other? Hell, two times I saw one forward carry the puck along the boards only to run int a teammate and loose the puck. They have got to communicate better. Look at the 4th line. That is three guys knowing exactly where the other is going to be on each play.

So no one knows what the others on the ice are doing or going to do, we can't make a pass and on the rare occasion the pass reaches it's target the 'receiver' can rarely handle it.....no wonder the PP sucks.

Funny...we've all bitched about lack of effort all year. What I saw last night was lack of skill/execution.

On the good....er......great note. Wasn't it nice to see a goalie steal on for us?

I can't begin to convey how much better I feel about our goal-tending today then I did yesterday.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:59 am 
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Only saw the condensed game and the 10-minute version of the game it looks like Columbus outplayed the Blues, got the better chances, but Allen stole the game and the Blues got a reasonable PP goal (heck - Stewart or Berglund could have scored), a lucky goal (Backes) and the easy shortie at the end.

Completely agree with DaDitka on puck-handling. Steen, especially, has struggled with it most of the season. And Stewart still can't win board battles. He loses around 90% of the board battles he is in. It's really disgusting. All that working out and you still can't out-man somebody on the boards?? He loses two in that little 10 minute version.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:13 am 
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Yeah but don't suggest the compressed season and lack of training camp add to the lack of skill at anything or the assholes here will crucify you (everyone had the same deal!!) what ever.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:52 am 
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Wow the first period was boring as hell.
Blues had a bunch of bad passes and little mistakes. The power plays were awful.
Second and third were a little better
Big win though, Allen looked good
Edit: Jay Bo can skate! Wow


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:34 am 
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Game was very frustrating to watch. We were really sloppy and outplayed overall. But, Allen was huge.

And, yeah, Bouwmeester goes from defensive goal line to offensive blue line super fast. I had no idea he was so fast and good at carrying the puck.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:50 am 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
Game was very frustrating to watch. We were really sloppy and outplayed overall. But, Allen was huge.

And, yeah, Bouwmeester goes from defensive goal line to offensive blue line super fast. I had no idea he was so fast and good at carrying the puck.


This is exactly it. How many times have we said, this season, that Elliott has been huge? But I know, you know, everyone else knows, that at the end of the day they'll go back to Elliott because he's making more money and they have to justify the decision to re-up him last season. Just like how they sat on their asses and tried to justify the Pronger trade FOREVER before they finally unloaded Brewer after a lot of damage had already been done and it had actually been proven, indisputably, the team was better without him. Allen has to be the #1 going forward, at least while Halak is out, and if it comes down to it, he has to be the #1 going into the playoffs. With Allen in net, we have a shot at winning some games in the playoffs and advancing far. With Elliott in net, I'll be tuning into the baseball games instead because it'll probably be a sweep first round exit. He's just simply no good unless he has someone else pushing him to be good. Knowing Halak was ready to step in pushed Elliott to another level. Now he knows Allen is ready to step in and he got pushed to do just enough against Chicago. I'm still not impressed.

By the way, I know it's different management, different ownership, different coaching, but honestly it's a cultural thing with this team. They always seem to do the wrong thing at the wrong time, whether it's making a dumbass trade in a sure-thing Stanley Cup season (you know what I'm talking about), hire the wrong coach when they know he'll just implode the roster and set us a back a decade (again, you know what I'm talking about) or start the wrong goalie when given choice A and choice B.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:31 pm 
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please tell me someone else heard John Kelly say "the lady's T's". I laughed so hard, mostly because I always think the same thing when I see the face off circles. Ladys T's...HA


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Bobbycissello wrote:
please tell me someone else heard John Kelly say "the lady's T's". I laughed so hard, mostly because I always think the same thing when I see the face off circles. Ladys T's...HA


My wife finds the things John and Panger say to be highly amusing... the old nine of hearts, he's in cold turkey, and of course the standard: HOLY JUMPIN'! But she was out of the room for "The ladies tees". It's ashame too, because she always has some sort of witty comment about the commentary. My first reaction when he said that was "what the frank?" then it occurred to me that it actually makes sense, which is an improvement over some of the aforementioned jewels that they toss out there each game.

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