Photo Credit: Jenni Propst

The Blue Jackets were well represented at both the AHL and NHL All Star Games by captain Rick Nash and prospect defenseman John Moore. On Friday night in Raleigh, Nash was drafted onto host-captain Eric Staal’s team, where he joined division rivals David Backes (St. Louis) and Patrick Sharp (Chicago). In Saturday’s Honda NHL SuperSkills competition, he competed in three events:
 – Accuracy Shooting: defeated Phil Kessel in 17.9 seconds.
 – Hardest Shot: registered the lowest speed, 91.4 MPH.
 – Elimination Shootout: bounced on second shot.
In Sunday’s Discover NHL All Star game, Team Staal would drop an exciting 11-10 decision with a flurry of third period goals that would result in the game winner being scored in an empty net. Despite having several great breakaway opportunities stopped, Nash completed the game with a goal and an assist and four shots on net.

Moore traveled to Hershey, PA to represent the Springfield Falcons in the 2011 AHL All Star Classic. In Sunday’s Reece’s All Star Skills Competition, he competed in two events:
  – Sher-Wood Puck Control Relay: loss
  – Reece’s Pass and Score: 1 of 3
His Eastern Conference team defeated the Western 19-7 in the skills, and would go on to defeat them again 11-8 in the game on Monday night. Moore had no points, but was +1 and played a solid defensive game.

Welcome to Straight Jackets, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ corner of G9 sports. Your lead writer here is Dannielle (@frickindannie), who has floated aimlessly around the hockeysphere with snark in hand in search of a permanent place to settle. Part time contributor to The Jacketsblog and The Cannon and creator/editor of the ECHL’s Cycwords. Known to produce jokes and/or photoshops of questionable taste. Cincinnati resident, partial CBJ season ticket holder, fan since a very large green bug handed me a sticket circa 1999-00. Supporter of the plus minus, the offensive defenseman, and the defensive forward.

It is no secret that I tend to be less than forgiving when it comes to the sometimes lethargic play of Rick Nash.

At $7.5M/year (apGeek), Rick Nash is the 19th highest paid player in the NHL (sixth if we’re taking cap hit into consideration). For a guy who makes up more than 13% of a small market team’s total payroll, the fans deserve to see a better performance out of one of the league’s superstars. There is no doubt that Nash is one of the most talented and dominant players, evidenced by his dramatically different performance with Team Canada in the Olympics, but his level of effort is sometimes wavering and the Captain is prone to long periods of invisibility. For money similar to that of scoring machine Sidney Crosby and undoubtedly something close to what goal-per-game phenom Steven Stamkos will garner (or deserves) when his ELC is up in the summer, there is no excuse for a guy to take shifts/nights off.

After this past week’s WestCoastDomination and an unbelievable 6 goals in 3 games, Nash is now up to 12 of the team’s 53 goals, or 22.6% of the team’s total goal output. This is the Rick Nash the Blue Jackets expect and deserve. Not that he should be expected to score multiple goals on a nightly basis, but this is a guy who has proved he is easily capable of 0.5 goals/game in the past. With his recent outburst, he’s at 12g in 17gp – a much better, digestive pace if you disregard the sporadic pace prior to the trip. Hopefully it’s a sign that he has broken out of his daze and will continue to give the nightly effort everybody knows he is capable of. When he’s on, he’s on.

One thing I will always stick by: if you could put Derek Dorsett’s heart into Rick Nash’s body, you’d have the most dangerous player in the league.

  • Barely got a chance to get WordPress up, and Mike Commodore goes and knocks one in, 0:32 in.
  • Hopefully we keep this momentum going.
  • Burish vs Dorsett. Good scrap!
  • Very good pressure in the first five minutes. Can we have this kind of hockey all the time? Good energy, good pressure, early goal, everyone standing up.
  • So far, Brass and Voracek look AWESOME.
  • Look at all of the defensemen being offensive today. What’ve you guys been working on in practice, eh?
  • I don’t understand how Seabrook didn’t get penalized for jumping Dorsett…?
  • 2-0 HUSELIUS!
  • Where has this team been all year?! What happened in the 45 hours since they left NJ? Seriously, who is this?
  • 3:50 to go in the first, hits are 11-2 Jackets.
  • Second period game on!
  • Boooo, Versteeg, 2-1, 2:15 in.
  • 3-1! Good persistence keeping the puck on the net, goal by Stralman, I think? Hus might’ve tipped it.
  • Yep, Huselius.
  • …and they changed it back. OH WELL. A SWEDISH GUY.
  • VORACEK PENALTY SHOT!
  • SCOOOOORE! First one of his career! 4-1!!
  • Intense, intense, intense.
  • VERY VERY NICE GOAL by Vermette! 5-1! That didn’t look like it’d go in, but it did! :)
  • 6-1!!! WEIGHTY!!!! <3 ILU.
  • 7-1 VERMETTE!
  • This game is too awesome for me to live blog appropriately. There’s nothing to make fun of!
  • 8-1!!!! BLUNDEN’S FIRST CAREER GOAL :)
  • 8-3 final. :)
  • Straight out of the horse’s (@BlueJacketsNHL) mouth: Starters- 20-50-61, 10-22 and Mason.
  • Game on!
  • Paetsch is the only scratch. I’m not sorry to see that.
  • 18:49 – look at Weighty getting another big shot on net.
  • Brodeur’s going to cover up every shot tonight, isn’t he? It’s going to be a 3 hour game, I can feel it.
  • Bill Davidge Miami Reference #1
  • Oh, Jamie Langenbrunner, my first hockey love, how it pains me to see you in that hideous Devils jersey.
  • 14:21 – BIG SAVE by Brodeur, nice chance there for the CBJ.
  • Mark my words, Vermette’s gonna get one. He looks hungry tonight.
  • Rick Nash, way to puckhog and go offsides.
  • Look at Murray stickhandling like the BAMF he is.
  • DAMN IT, Brodeur, damn you for being Martin Brodeur. Damn it.
  • Rick Nash is an initarator! Says Bill Davidge.
  • And Kovalchuk. I feel like the Devils are trying to horde all of my mid-teens hockey loves. What’s next, Klesla? Zetterberg? (Ouch. Shameful admission.)
  • NJ 1-0 (Parise, 6:59). PPG. Ugh.
  • Can we get him on our team?
  • Let’s go ahead and stop with the penalties, thanks.
  • I feel like our PK is a blink away from being a car crash.
  • End of the first, 1-0 NJ.
  • 2-0 NJ (Martin, 18:46). PPG.
  • ENOUGH with the penalties, boys.
  • SCORE!!! ANTOINE VERMETTE. I TOLD YOOOOU. 2-1!
  • NO MORE PENALTIES. NONE. ZERO. ENOUGH OF THIS. Brassard, I am looking at you.
  • Good almost SH breakaway…
  • Wow, McAmmond, what a douchebag, Blundy didn’t want your silly ass.
  • LINE BRAWL!!!!
  • Ohh, see-ya McAmmond.
  • C’mon, boys, let’s get one here! 0:54 of 5 on 3.
  • Or not. Huselius to the box. I HATE you.
  • Rimmer with a Miami-drop! :p
  • 3-1 NJ. Kovalchuk PPG.
  • Come on, Boller. Fight. Don’t get your ass whipped.
  • Okay. Or don’t do much of anything.
  • 4-1 NJ. No words for that. Even strength, at least.
  • …wow, okay. 5-1.
  • 5-2! Voracek, nice goal.
  • Boll left, won’t return.
  • 5-3 Jackets… goal to Huselius.
  • Slow here, ’cause I’m cooking…
  • 6-3 final. My  chili was much better than that game. :)

Quick comparison of all of the “major” players on this year’s team, the gray-highlighted line is this year’s production, second is last year, the gray line is the change in production of this year from last year. The yellow boxes are guys who have improved over last year’s totals. I realize there are still 10(ish) games left to play, so numbers will change, but I’ll update final totals at that point.

PLAYER GP G A PT +/- PIM PP SH
Rick Nash 67 30 29 59 -6 52 6 5
2008-09 78 40 39 79 11 52 5 5
DIFFERENCE -11 -10 -10 -20 -17 0 1 0
Antoine Vermette 71 22 34 56 1 26 5 1
2008-09 79 16 25 41 -7 50 3 1
DIFFERENCE -8 6 9 15 8 -24 2 0
Kristian Huselius 63 20 35 55 -5 32 8 1
2008-09 74 21 35 56 1 44 5 0
DIFFERENCE -11 -1 0 -1 -6 -12 3 1
RJ Umberger 71 20 27 47 -15 36 6 1
2008-09 82 26 20 46 -10 53 9 0
DIFFERENCE -11 -6 7 1 -5 -17 -3 1
Jakub Voracek 70 12 30 42 -8 26 4 0
2008-09 80 9 29 38 11 44 0 0
DIFFERENCE -10 3 1 4 -19 -18 4 0
Derick Brassard 68 8 23 31 -16 30 3 0
2008-09 31 10 15 25 12 17 3 0
DIFFERENCE 37 -2 8 6 -28 13 0 0
Anton Stralman 62 6 25 31 -15 29 4 0
2008-09 38 1 12 13 -2 20 0 0
DIFFERENCE 24 5 13 18 -13 9 4 0
Fedor Tyutin 69 5 25 30 -9 45 3 0
2008-09 82 9 25 34 1 81 5 1
DIFFERENCE -13 -4 0 -4 -10 -36 -2 -1
Kris Russell 61 7 14 21 -2 21 0 0
2008-09 66 2 19 21 -10 28 1 0
DIFFERENCE -5 5 -5 0 8 -7 -1 0
Jan Hejda 62 3 10 13 -14 36 1 0
2008-09 82 3 18 21 23 38 0 0
DIFFERENCE -20 0 -8 -8 -37 -2 1 0
Derek Dorsett 40 4 7 11 7 83 0 0
2008-09 52 4 1 5 -1 150 0 0
DIFFERENCE -12 0 6 6 8 -67 0 0
Samuel Pahlsson 68 2 9 11 -11 30 0 0
2008-09 (ANA+CHI) 65 7 11 18 -17 34 1 0
DIFFERENCE 3 -5 -2 -7 6 -4 -1 0
Mike Commodore 46 0 9 9 -9 54 0 0
2008-09 81 5 19 24 11 100 0 0
DIFFERENCE -35 -5 -10 -15 -20 -46 0 0
Rostislav Klesla 26 2 6 8 -7 26 0 0
2008-09 34 1 8 9 2 38 0 0
DIFFERENCE -8 1 -2 -1 -9 -12 0 0
Jared Boll 66 4 3 7 -8 142 0 0
2008-09 75 4 10 14 -6 180 1
DIFFERENCE -9 0 -7 -7 -2 -38 -1 0
Marc Methot 49 2 4 6 -10 41 0 0
2008-09 66 4 13 17 7 55 0 0
DIFFERENCE -17 -2 -9 -11 -17 -14 0 0
Chris Clark 69 7 12 19 -12 48 0 0
2008-09 (WAS) 32 1 5 6 -3 32 0 0
DIFFERENCE 37 6 7 13 -9 16 0 0
Andrew Murray 37 2 2 4 -8 6 0 0
2008-09 67 8 3 11 -6 10 1 0
DIFFERENCE -30 -6 -1 -7 -2 -4 -1 0

First Period
– Dorsett is starting the game on the top line with Vermette & Huselius. Good on you, Dorse.
– Chelios is 29 years older than his linemate, Zach Bogosian.
– 3:30 in, good pressure by the Jackets.
– Actually really liking that top line, they had some solid opportunities there.
– Hahaha, Antropov, just because JBoll checked Enstrom, doesn’t mean you need to be a tool. Thanks for the powerplay!
– Stralman is a total failure on the point. Why is he still the priority here? He can’t keep the puck in the zone to save his life.
– Dear Huselius, pass.
– THANK YOU. Score! 1-0 Jackets! Umberger from Huselius & Tyutin.
– Double thank you to Nik Antropov for that PP!
– Boll and Clark with some good offensive pressure there. Like to see those two playing deep in the ATL end.
– I really, really like watching Garon play. He doesn’t get discouraged. He doesn’t mind flailing around when there’s a flurry. Sure, he gets beat sometimes, but he seems to be good at controlling rebounds and being aware. Whereas Mase gives up on a play so easily. He makes the fancy stops, but it’s the little things he struggles with.
– Be smart, little Dorse, don’t let Kozlov make you lose your shit.
– I really dislike Antropov right now.
– The flow of this game is incredible. Only four faceoffs so far (one being the opening drop, one following the goal), with just over 5:00 to go in the fist.
– Something like ten minutes of continuous play there. Love it!
– Second power play not so pretty.

Second Period
– Borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring.
– THAT was a nice goal! The dirty ones down low, I’ll take it! 2-0 Jackets!
– Dorsett with points in back to back games. Looking good lately with more responsibility/ice time.
– Getttting chippy.
– Antropov is a massive douchebag. JBoll is gonna mess him up.
– End of the second: Umberger leads the team with 6 shots on goal; Marc Methot has 5 hits and Russell, Blunden, and Boll are tied with 3 apiece; Antoine Vermette is 8 for 8 on faceoffs tonight; as a team they are 74% on faceoffs; through two periods, Kris Russell leads the team with 13:51 of icetime, Umberger leads the forwards with 13:49.

Third Period
- Good hustle by Jake!
– Good wheels by Brass, love to see him persisting.
– Yeah, this period’s a little boring, too. :(
– Everything I said about it being boring, I recind in the final two minutes of the period. Jackets hold on for a 2-1 win. :)

Final Stat Rundown
– Marc Methot led all players with 7 hits. Russell second with 4.
– Max Mayorov only had 5 shifts all game. 0 in the 3rd.
– Vermette went 13-7 on faceoffs, as a team they were 56%. Considerable decrease in the third period. That = more opportnities for Atlanta.
– Antoine Vermette led all players with 23:20 of icetime. Tyutin, as usual, led the d squad with 20:51.
– Derek Dorsett had 17:31 of ice time. That has to be a season (career?) high for him. Increased responsibility looks good on him.