– Honkeytonk Heartbreak: After a poorly-reviewed disallowed goal that caused much indigestion across the board, the Blue Jackets rebounded with a goal in the second period off the stick of Matt Calvert, his 10th of the campaign. Early in the third though, the Predators would return the favor when Shea Weber and then Jonathon Blum (his first career goal) would set the Preds ahead 2-1. Nothing is ever easy in Nashville for the Jackets, not even when a mid-period unassisted power play goal by Kris Russell ties the game. No, never easy. David Legwand’s killer of a goal would give the Predators their ultimate lead with just over a minute and a half to go. A brutalÂ loss of two points for the Jackets to a team they are chasing in the standings.
– Nashville Notes: Is anybody tired of typing “Matt Calvert” yet? It was his 10th goal in just his 21st game. For hisÂ performance last week, Calvert was named the NHL’sÂ Third Star of the week. He has 8 points in his last 4 games and he’s shooting 28.6% on the year (10g on 35 shots).Â Kris Russell’s goal was his fourth of the year, and his fifth point in his previous five games (2g, 3a). He stepped up nicely in the absence of Anton Stralman… Stralman suffered a knee injury and didn’t accompany the team to Western Canada, instead returning to Columbus. Good timing for the new defensemen on board.
– Thanks, Rostislav Klesla: After 10-plus years of service as the very first ever amateur draft pick of the Blue Jackets back in 2000, on Monday they traded defenseman Rusty Klesla to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Jackets also sent minor leaguer Dane Byers along. In return they received forward Scottie Upshall and defenseman Sami Lepisto from the Coyotes.Â Klesla, 29, played 515Â games for the Jackets and wasÂ 41-92-133 and a career -50Â in that time. His history of fragility was clearly no issue for the Coyotes, who accepted the trade pending a physical. Klesla missed the last month with a bruised knee. The Jackets also sent fan-favorite Tom Sestito to Philadelphia for QMJHL prospect Michael Chaput & minor-leaguer Greg Moore. Poor one out for Tommy’s career as a Jacket, but best of luck to him.
–Â What’s up, shall?:Â Meet Scottie Upshall, your new #8. The 27 year old Alberta native is a veteran of 340 NHL games and 3 NHL clubs (Nashville, Philadelphia, and Phoenix). He’s 80-85-165; almost even on goals and assists for his career. He scored 18 goals in only 49 games last year, and joins the Jackets with already 16 on the books for this year.
– Lepist-who?: Sami Lepisto, #4 in your programs, is a 26 year-old native of Finland. In 132 career games (Phoenix & Washington),Â he owns only 27 points to his name, but he’s aÂ +16. Before heÂ joined the Jackets, he had 4-7-11, +7Â on the season. He also represented Finland at the 2010 Olympics. In his Columbus debut against Vancouver, he logged 21:46 TOI, including 2:29 on the PP.
– About Vancouver: The Canucks got an early goal from Mason Raymond who broke a scoring drought by outworking the defense one on one in front of Steve Mason. Scottie Upshall would provideÂ a breath of fresh air by scoring his own goal to tie it up in the second period, with assists to his linemates on the third line, Dorsett and Pahlsson. It stayed tied through regulation and overtime, and moved onto the shootout. Raymond, Burrows, and Torres (hey, remember him?) scored for the Canucks in the seven-round shootout. Nash and Vermette tallied in the shootout for Columbus. While two points would have been fantastic, pocketing one point from a first-place Canucks team is a treat, especially when giving up the “third” point doesn’t negatively affect their competition.
– Where We Stand: 31-24-7, 69 points. 12th, -5 8th place LA [one game in hand].
– What’s Next: Thursday at Edmonton, Friday at Calgary. Two huge games to salvage points from – Calgary is sitting six points ahead in fifth place. Steal two, capitalize, and beat Edmonton while you’re at it, boys.