• RJ Umberger‘s consecutive game streak is sitting at 240 games. Jason Chimera holds the Blue Jackets’ record at 240 consecutive games (source). Provided nothing happens (knock wood), he will tie Chimera’s record on Sunday against St. Louis, and set the mark in Dallas n Tuesday. (h/t to Lee at the Jacketsblog for the reminder).
  • The Jackets signed goaltender Allen York out of RPI on Tuesday and should join the Falcons to play out the last week and a half of the season. According to the Albany Times-Union, York is RPI’s all-time GAA leader at 2.47. His three-year NCAA career record is 37-33-8.
  • The NCAA announced their “hat trick” of finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, and on that list is Cam Atkinson, freshly-signed CBJ prospect & Springfield Falcon. He’s up against Miami’s Andy Miele and North Dakota’s Matt Frattin. The award is announced on April 8th, the day between the Frozen Four semi-finals and finals.
  • The Hard Times of RJ Umberger? Random find, here, but worth a laugh. If you’re the kind of person who can laugh at yourself, that is. And, well, you’re a Blue Jackets fan, so you’re probably used to that by now.

Photo by Dannielle Browne

For the first time in what feels like eons, the Blue Jackets did what seemed improbable. In fact, they did several things that have otherwise eluded them lately: scored multiple times at home, won at home, and won in the shootout. After losing six straight shootouts, a collective breath of relief was released after Maksim Mayorov sealed the victory in the fifth frame of action.

Scottie Upshall got the scoring started in the first when Derek Dorsett and their buzzing third line were able to rush the puck into the zone. Upshall lifted the puck in the high corner and off the crossbar and in. In the second, an ill-timed penalty by Marc Methot led to a Florida power play and ultimately a goal when the defense let David Booth camp in front. The goal tied it at one and effectively deflated both the team and the crowd. The Jackets were sloppy, but hung in there and managed to not lose track of the game despite their inability to make clean, directed passes.

With just over a minute left in the second, the puck was bouncing around in front of Clemmensen and nearly lost to the Panthers, but Matt Calvert’s persistence (is anybody surprised?) was able to keep the puck in front where RJ Umberger and Antoine Vermette were pinballing it around before finally netting it. 2-1 Jackets, end of two. In the third, Evgeny Dadonov was able to chase Craig Rivet away from the goal, while Ryan Carter shoved Kris Russell down and took him out of the play (in the crease, no less), so that Dadonov was able to wrap around and beat Steve Mason.

To overtime this game would go and not much materialized – the shots were 3-1 in favor of Columbus – so to the shootout it went. Oh here we go again, right? Wrong. Mason, who had been solid most of the evening, turned away all three Florida shots. The Jackets sent Nash, Mayorov, and Calvert out, and with Mayorov getting the game-winning shootout goal.

Scoring:
1 — CBJ — Upshall 21 (Dorsett, Pahlsson), 7:06
2 — FLA — Booth 22 (Samsonov, Santorelli), 3:41 (PP)
2 — CBJ — Vermette 18 (Umberger, Calvert), 18:58
3 — FLA — Dadonov 8 (Garrison, Bernier), 7:31

Shootout:
CBJ — 1/3 (Mayorov)
FLA — 0/3

Goalies:
CBJ — Mason (W), 29/31
FLA — Clemmensen (L), 30/32

The Springfield Falcons finished the last week 1-2, dropping decisions to Connecticut and Binghamton and picking up a victory over Worcester that ended a twelve-game losing streak. The Falcons currently sit with a record of 31-38-2-3 and 67 points which puts them at sixth in the Atlantic Division and outside the AHL playoff picture.

Additions:
Paul Dainton, Goaltender: Signed to ATO on 3/21. 69-61-12, 2.78, .908 in four seasons at UMass-Amherst.
Wade McLeod, Forward: Signed to ATO on 3/21. 61-76-137 in four seasons at Northeastern University.
Cam Atkinson, Forward: Signed to ELC with Columbus on 3/27. 68-56-124 in three seasons with Boston College. Hobey Baker Finalist (To be awarded on 4/8). Follow him on Twitter at @CamAtkinson13, or check out a few videos on the future Blue Jacket:

Weekly Game Recap:

Wednesday, March 23
Springfield
2
at Connecticut 3

Scoring:
1 – SPR – MacLeod 1 (Savard, Holden), 18:02.
2 – SPR – Goloubef 5 (Kubalik, Smith), 8:59
2 – CT – Couture 2 (Garlock), 11:52.
3 – CT – Weise 16 (Newbury, Dupont), 0:54 (PP)
3 – CT – Mitchell 6 (Williams, Grachev), 11:17

Goaltending:
SPR –  Dainton L (31/34)
CT –  Grumet-Morris W (25/27)

Saturday, March 26
Springfield 7
at Worcester 2

Scoring:
1 – SPR – Moore, (8) (Guite), 9:34 (SH)
1 – SPR – Filatov, (7) (Savard), 12:25 (PP) 
2 – SPR – Kubalik, (22) (Guite, Holden), 4:10
2 – SPR – Moore, (5) (Kubalik, Dainton), 10:02
3 – SPR – Bogosian, (1) (Savard), 1:27
3 – SPR – Sigalet, (4) (Kubalik, Guite), 2:57
3 – WOR – Trevelyan, (15) (DaSilva, Moore), 5:32 (PP)
3 – WOR – Wingels, (17) (McCarthy, Ferriero), 12:10 (PP)
3 – SPR – Tarnasky, (6) (Kubalik, Holden), 18:24 (PP)

Goaltending:
SPR – Dainton W (39/41)
WOR - Hutton/Sateri L (23/30)

Sunday, March 27
Binghamton 4
at Springfield 1

Scoring:
1 – BNG – Gryba 3 (Daugavins, Keller), 9:18
2 – BNG – Bass 5 (Grant), 1:46
3 – SPR – Savard 8 (Holden, Frischmon), 0:37
3 – BNG – Wick 18 (Locke), 3:07
3 – BNG – Benoit 10 (Wick, Locke), 18:55 (EN)

Goaltending:
BNG – Brodeur W (38/39)
SPR – Dainton L (26/29)

Rick Nash, in full streak-mode, knocked home his 32nd goal of the season just 2:14 in the first period with some help from Derick Brassard carrying the puck coast to coast. Brassard and Kris Russell both assisted, bringing them each to a career-best 28 assists for Brassard and career-high 23 points for Russell. Ryan O’Reilly evened it up just a few minutes later as bodies were flying in front of Steve Mason and a series of passes drew the defensemen away from the net.

For the first two periods, the Jackets didn’t amaze anybody, but they played a tight game. Midway through the second, with Marc Methot in the box, Derek Dorsett intercepted the puck at the blue line and dropped it across to Derek Mackenzie who was able to knock it past netminder Brian Elliot for their first shorthanded goal of the night.

In the third, RJ Umberger tore out of the defensive zone on another Avalanche power play and ripped an easy shot over the shoulder of Elliot to make it 3-1. According to the Blue Jackets PR department, that was only the second time in team history they scored two shorties in one game. The other came in February 2007.

But nothing ever comes easy. With their foot off the pedal, Matt Duchene popped a pinball past Mason at 7:44 (just forty-four seconds after Umberger’s shortie) and 14:36. Colorado was abuzz in the third with their gained momentum, and both Duchene goals could have been prevented had the defensemen and Mason both had any sense of each others’ whereabouts.

Hopefully you had your seatbelt fastened and your seat in the upright position. It got bumpier from there. Two minutes after Duchene’s 3-3 goal, Umberger clobbered Elliot and squirted the puck past him. Why wasn’t that goaltender interference? Who knows, but the Jackets had taken another lead! 4-3, under four to go.

Good to go, right?

Wrong. Daniel Winnik had something to say about that. With four seconds left in the game he tied it at four. There was no excuse for the Blue Jackets to give up that goal. Sure, it was six-on-four, but clearly they were already thinking about the bus ride to the airport. The net was half empty for Winnik’s shot. Both teams had some brilliant chances in overtime, but ultimately it would go to everybody’s least-favorite overtime of overtime.

Do we need to elaborate on what happened next, or can you guess? Columbus was 0/3. Milan Hejduk, the never-aging pest of a Jacket killer, scored. Colorado 5, Columbus 4.

The Jackets have lost six consecutive shootouts.

The broken record sings on.

Columbus is back at it on Thursday against Phoenix. Make sure to take your Dramamine and/or Pepto.

For a Colorado look at things, check out Katie’s recap at Hockey Without Oxygen.

Even Jake Voracek couldn't wake up Steve Mason. (Photo by @Vladekk35)

Remember back in the olden days of February or maybe even on Saturday, when the Jackets were able to complete passes and put the puck on the net? Those were the days, weren’t they?

Apparently the epic Supermoon event sapped them of their ability to operate as functional professional hockey players. Did they do anything right in this game? They didn’t get a shot on goal until late in the first period. Thirteen total? Did they forget this was Martin Brodeur and he’s, you know, kind of good?

And maybe it’s just the Dispatch wanting to stir up some unneeded controversy, but a quote by Steve Mason after Sunday’s loss has supposedly rung the wrong bells with the coaching staff:

“It’s a crappy feeling and an embarrassing effort tonight,” he said after the club was shut out for the second straight time on home ice. “It’s frustrating. We just couldn’t generate anything in their zone. For a team that is looking for a playoff spot right now, the effort we put forth isn’t acceptable.”

Is the truth so bad? The majority here seems to think Mason was right, and fair in making those comments. It doesn’t come across as Mason holding himself in any higher regard than his teammates – just simply stating that as a team, they were bad. And we all agree.

They leave today for Colorado, sans Grant Clitsome (knee) and with  Anton Stralman, according to the boys at the Dispatch. Colorado is on a slide – having won less than a handful of times over the last 60 days – but topped Edmonton in the shootout on Saturday. Don’t let them know that Colorado’s struggling. We all know how they act when they think they’re the better team. Make sure to check in with Katie at Hockey Without Oxygen for an Avs side of tomorrow’s bout.

Photo by Bridget Samuels

If you, at any point in this game, had any confidence in the outcome of the game, you’re lying. It started interestingly enough, as Rick Nash got off the schneid with his thirtieth goal of the season, assisted by Derek Dorsett and Sammy Pahlsson. Pahlsson chipped the puck to Dorsett along the boards, who flipped it over to Nash who was steaming into the zone full speed. Confidence level at this point: 6! But, of course, that wouldn’t last long as just under two minutes later Minnesota got a goal of their own off the stick of Brad Staubitz, his first of the year. Confidence level: shrinking.

In the second, everybody’s favorite name to laugh at, Cal Clutterbuck knocked the go-ahead goal past Mathieu Garon. Suddenly the Jackets were in full-on defenseless mode, battling with the Wild both competitively and physically. It got chippy — Grant Clitsome was injured on an uncalled knee-on-knee hit — and then Dorsett danced with Staubitz (embarrassingly) after a hit on Sami Lepisto. Dorsett got the worst of the fight and a misconduct and instigator to go along with it, but the team absolutely had a subsequent spike in energy. With under a minute left in the second, a whiff by Nash was redirected by Lepisto to the blue line to Kris Russell who fired it past Backstrom to tie it at two.

Going into the third, after a goal by Jan Hejda and another by the Captain to make it 4-2, things were looking good. But no, this is the Columbus Blue Jackets. Things can’t be that easy, right? A two-goal lead more than halfway into the third… no, no it can’t be that easy. Antti Miettinen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard had something to say about that. Garon gave them too much net to work with and the capitalized.

Off to overtime. Interestingly enough, the NHL.com Event Summary sheet had the score as 5-4 Columbus at the end of regulation, with a phantom goal awarded to Antoine Vermette. Apparently, the NHL has ESP, as Antoine Vermette took a shot right into a flurry of  flustered Wild players in the crease and won the game for the Jackets with 0:34 to go in OT.

Some notes, courtesy of CBJ PR guy Ryan Holtmann:
– Their 17th road victory of the season surpasses the franchise record of 16 previously set in 2008-09.
– Sami Lepisto had three assists for the first time in his career, also setting the single-game assists record for CBJ defensemen.
– Jan Hejda now has a career high in goals with 5.
– Rick Nash & Jarome Iginla are the only two players to currently have four consecutive 30-goal seasons.

OK GO says it better than words ever could:

Let’s recap those lyrics, in case you’re unfamiliar:

Just when you think that you’re in control
Just when you think that you’ve got a hold
Just when you get on a roll
Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again
Oh, here it goes again
I should have known, should have known, should have known again
But here it goes again
Oh, here it goes again

*

Sound familiar?

Ample opportunities. Uncapitalized upon. Points left on the table.

Against Detroit. Really stings, doesn’t it? A nice, firm kick in the jewels.

There isn’t much to say about this game. They’re in a holding pattern in twelfth place, but it’s starting to feel like 1200th.

– The Blue Jackets lost this game the way they have lost most of their season: by blowing ample opportunities to put the game away. They were able to pull Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask away from his net and give themselves a handful of golden, empty-net opportunities but were only able to capitalize on two chances – one from Scottie Upshall in front of a completely empty net.
— Their powerplay was nothing to write home about. In fact – only Boston scored on the Jackets’ PP.
— Steve Mason made some key stops. He had a quick glove and looked rather confident coming off the big W in Raleigh.
— Fedor Tyutin was – and pardon our Russian – Fyucking Terrible. The last two games especially, Tyutin has been incredibly soft on the defensive side of things. In Carolina he took two penalties while illegally defending because he was too slow to keep up otherwise, and against Boston he was just flat out no good. Yet, Scott Arniel remains a fan and rewards TurnoverTyutin with 25 minutes of ice time on a regular night. Who knows why.
— Paging Rick Nash. Repeat, paging Rick Nash. Where, oh where, has Rick Nash’s scoring ability gone? Somewhere in the septic tank with the team’s playoff hopes. He hasn’t scored since February 22nd. He’s garnered assists – somehow – but his effort has been really poor. It isn’t news to anybody that Rick Nash’s “streakiness” has hints of “just not giving a sh*t” but as the team has dropped out of the running, so has Nash’s momentum. Nash apologists would disagree, but the $7.8M man has been a disappointment when he was needed the most.