Columbus Blue Jackets' source of frustration

tyutin.jpgEvery now and then, Pro Hockey Talk will ask for insight from some of the best team bloggers out there. For this feature, we asked a simple question: “Who is your team’s most frustrating player?” Just for fun, I decided to throw my guess in the hat, too.

First, here is my guess for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Steve Mason – After winning the Calder Trophy and even threatening for the Vezina last season, Mason was absolutely rancid this season. Since I can’t say Nikolai Zherdev or Nikita Filatov, Mason it is.

For the Columbus perspective, I asked the guys at SBN blog The Cannon. Make sure to give them a look as the team tries to find its identity.

Frustration-a feeling that all fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets are familiar with. Since the team’s inaugural season in 2000/2001, there have been a handful of Jacket players who have absolutely drove the fans (not to mention the coaches and management) nuts. We’re talking about current players here, so we’ll forget about the maddening couple of seasons watching Nikolai Zherdev tantalize us with his skill, only to do one-too-many moves and turn the puck over, or show a complete lack of interest on the ice.

At this point we’ll look at another Russian as the biggest source of frustration. Fedor Tyutin is the Jackets’ most complete blueliner; he has offensive talent and can dish out the occasional big hit. He is currently second in points by a defenseman behind power play quarterback Anton Stralman. He was an Olympian this past February as well.

The issue however, arises when Tyutin is in possession of the puck. His passes are not always crisp, and he is guilty of turning the puck over precisely when he shouldn’t. He doesn’t give the puck away as often as some of his teammates; in fact he’s seventh in that respect, and third among defensemen. The issue with Tyutin’s turnovers isn’t the quantity however, it’s the quality. He’s the guy making cross-crease passes in the defensive zone. His breakout passes on the power play have sometimes been five or more feet behind the intended recipient, which of course leads to partial or full breakaways against.

The timing of Tyutin’s turnovers is what leads to the high level of frustration; I have to admit though the frustration pales in comparison to previous headaches like the aforementioned Nik Zherdev. I’ll take the occasional Tyutin brain fart over the Princess from Kiev any day.

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    Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

    Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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    Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

    From the NHL:

    Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.

    Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.

    Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.

    Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse

    Malkin to miss third straight game with lower-body injury

    Evgeni Malkin
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    Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.

    Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.

    The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.

    Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.

    McDonagh out with concussion after Saturday’s altercation with Simmonds

    Ryan McDonagh
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    The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.

    McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.

    Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.

    Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

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    Lucic’s plan is to ‘remain a King’ for remainder of career

    Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows, Dan Hamhuis
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    Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

    It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”

    A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.

    “Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

    Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.

    Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.

    Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA