AP Photo

Due to a roller derby commitment, I’m watching this game on a sixteen hour delay, so have some observation notes on last night’s game versus Detroit:

Kristian Huselius was a healthy scratch. He became the eleventh player on the current roster to fall victim to Arniel’s willingness to sit his expensive underachievers.
– How good is Matt Calvert? The kid plays like a guy with more intensity and maturity than a rookie should. He stepped up to the second line in place of Huselius and brought breath of fresh air to the line. He complements Umberger’s style very well, giving Vermette two wings that battle and can get him the puck – as they did on his laser beam of a shot that beat Howard. But can Arniel continue to keep Huselius out of the lineup?
Rick Nash had a goal waived off for goaltender interference (by Brassard) shortly after Vermette’s goal. Normally that causes a momentum shift, but it didn’t slow the Jackets at all.
– Detroit had plenty of opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize on any of them. Steve Mason stopped all 34 shots thrown his way (another 12 shots were blocked, and 12 more missed the net). He showed Vintage Mason, with poise and confidence. Hopefully the team’s recent roll has him feeling good.
– That was the first-ever shutout by the Blue Jackets in Joe Louis Arena. Yes. The first.
Jared Boll potted his sixth goal of the season, his single-season career high, and the nineteenth of his career. He currently sits at 10 points in 42 games. His career-high is 14 in 75 games.
– Since being paired with Grant Clitsome, Kris Russell has begun playing like he has been expected to all season. He hasn’t buried the puck recently, but he’s moving the puck out of the zone and creating opportunities for the forwards, without sacrificing his defense. It’s a surefire sign he trusts his defense partner. Everybody’s a Clitsome fan.
– Alyssa over at Hockeytown Beat has a great recap of the game. Be sure to check it out.

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.