After all of the pins and needles waiting for this afternoon’s Trade Deadline, nothing happened. Not a single trade that affects the Union and Blue, in any rate. The Columbus Blue Jackets, expected to be sellers at the deadline with pieces such as Scott Hartnell and Fedor Tyutin possibilities to be moved, made their first move yesterday afternoon when they placed Rene Bourque on waivers (who cleared today at 12:01).
In short, Columbus is in almost exactly the same place it was this morning. The Blue Jackets are still a cap team, with some (but not much) flexibility going forward. The team has restricted free agents it must re-sign in the summer in Seth Jones and William Karlsson. With the cap situation in flux (it may remain stagnant, or it may even go down given various economic factors), every dollar is at a premium in the NHL, and especially for the Blue Jackets.
It is possible that Scott Hartnell, Fedor Tyutin, or someone else could be unloaded this summer at the draft. Perhaps a team will take a flier on Gregory Campbell because he’s an expiring contract. Jarmo, never one to shy away from a blockbuster, could pull something off this summer. For example, did anyone expect to see Brandon Saad in a Blue Jackets sweater this season?
Following the deadline, the Blue Jackets did make one rather important deal. Boone Jenner, alternate captain, signed a 2 year bridge extension worth $5.8 million. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the deal, and as such remains firmly under team control for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, there was a hockey game to play! John Tortorella returned to New York for the first time as coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets had a lot to play for tonight- perhaps not in the standings, but at least they had an opportunity to make up for the soul crushing losses to the Rangers to open the season.
How long ago that feels.
With Kerby Rychel re-assigned to the Lake Erie Monsters today, David Clarkson and Jared Boll would both draw into the 4th line tonight. Cody Goloubef drew in for the injured Jack Johnson tonight. Joonas Korpisalo remained the starter in net for the Blue Jackets. Columbus had a chance to set a high water mark for wins in a single month with 8 with a win tonight.
To the highlights!
FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Your CBJ starters: Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray, Seth Jones, Joonas Korpisalo
A faceoff win and immediate zone entry led to an early icing by the Rangers.
David Savard would fill in on the left side of the second pairing for the injured Jack Johnson, allowing Cody Goloubef to play on the right. Both are right –handed defensemen.
SAVE! Korpisalo denied Derek Stepan at 3:15.
CHANCE! Antti Raanta denied Dalton Prout at 4:00 on a rebound from a Boone Jenner shot.
Herky jerky start to the game. At the first TV timeout with 6:27 gone, there had been more icings and whistles than shots on net.
Jenner with a chance from a sharp angle at 7:52.
Scott Hartnell saw a shot saved at 8:30.
CHANCE. Raanta denied Atkinson at 9:30 after a feed from Seth Jones.
Seth Jones is good. This is a scheduled observation.
Columbus carried the run of play through the first 12 minutes, outshooting New York 11-5 to that point.
End to end action through the later part of the period.
SAVE. J.T. Miller, with Jones draped all over him, redirected a Derick Brassard effort that Korpisalo was able to turn aside. That was 9 minutes between shots on goal for the Ranger.
Rangers goal. Mats Zuccarello walked out from beneath the goal line and released a sharp angle shot that beat Korpisalo short side at 17:41. It may have glanced in off of Korpisalo’s stick handle. Assist to Dan Boyle.
Oscar Lindberg hit the post at 18:15 for the Rangers.
The period ended with little activity. The Rangers led 1-0 despite the Blue Jackets outshooting them 13-8.
SECOND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
End to end action to open the second period.
Matt Calvert saw a shot saved at 1:30.
Chance for the Rangers broken up after Seth Jones turned the puck over to Kevin Hayes behind Korpisalo. Bad turnover from Jones.
Nick Foligno saw his effort denied at 4:23 with Goloubef waiting on the doorstep for a rebound.
Dylan McIlrath stared down both David Clarkson and Dalton Prout, looking for a fight potentially.
Alexander Wennberg turned the puck over on a failed clearance at 6:30, but Dalton Prout was there to break it up at 6:00 and not allow Viktor Stalberg a shot.
Columbus managed to clear a dangerous chance from New York at 9:15.
SAVE Korpisalo at 10:00 to deny Zuccarello.
FIGHT. Jared Boll and Dylan McIlrath went at it at 10:35.
Seth Jones saw a shot denied by Raanta at 11:30.
Wennberg fed Saad in the slot, but it was broken up at 12:00.
Lots of neutral zone play with few chances as we crossed the 5:00 mark.
PAD SAVE KORPISALO on Zuccarello at 15:15.
Korpisalo denied Eric Staal at 16:30.
Stalberg tipped a shot just wide of Korpisalo’s net at 18:45.
After a Marc Staal turnover, Foligno saw two shots denied by Raanta at 19:41.
After 2 periods, it was 1-0 New York despite Columbus outshooting the Rangers 21-13.
THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
SPREAD EAGLE SAVE by Korpisalo to deny Derick Brassard at 0:30.
Dubinsky denied at 1:00 on a slick feed from Hartnell!
STALBERG DENIED BY KORPISALO AT 3:00
BLUE JACKETS GOAL!! After Cam Atkinson picked off a pass, he followed up his shot and scored at 3:46. It was his 20th of the season, becoming the third Blue Jacket with 20 (after Saad and Hartnell).
Breakaway for Kevin Hayes DENIED by Korpisalo at 5:15.
Rangers power play. Brandon Dubinsky went off for delay of game at 5:56. It was the first penalty for either side tonight.
Seth Jones blocked a Brassard shot at 6:45.
SAVE by Korpisalo on Keith Yandle at 7:20.
The Blue Jackets killed the penalty.
RAANTA DENIES JENNER AT 13:48
Karlsson saw a shot turned aside at 15:15 after saving the puck at the line.
Blue Jackets on the power play! Marc Staal went off for tripping Matt Calvert at 15:19.
Rangers shorthanded goal. Derek Stepan scored on a breakaway at 17:12 after Seth Jones and Brandon Dubinsky misplayed a puck in the neutral zone.
The puck went in the net a half second too late off the stick of Ryan Murray.
Final: New York Rangers 2 Columbus Blue Jackets 1
*** Derek Stepan
** Joonas Korpisalo
* Antti Raanta
Korpisalo will probably spend a lot of the offseason working on his positioning. He’s solid, but has to work on prevent sharp angle and unexpected shots from finding the back of the net.
That said, he made several outstanding saves to keep the Blue Jackets in the hockey game. He has his moment.
The presence in front of the net was lacking for a good portion of the game.
Boone Jenner was everywhere on the ice tonight.
Cam Atkinson has been a force since Torts took over. Glad to see him get #20 tonight.
Terrible misplay in the neutral zone from Dubinsky and Jones leading to the go ahead goal for New York. The Blue Jackets’ awful tendency to crowd each other and attempt cute little passes on the power play bit them on that exchange. This team has struggled in the neutral zone with the man advantage for years.
The Blue Jackets return home to take on the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, March 4. Faceoff is at 7:00 EST.