Blue Jackets off to best start ever, powered by Rick Nash and Steve Mason

The Columbus Blue Jackets are on fire right now and they couldn’t ask for a much better situation. They’re 11-6-0 at this point – apparently the best start in franchise history – and their two most important players have been their two best players.

Rick Nash is scoring at a high rate at the moment. He scored six goals in his last six games, including a four game goal scoring streak in which he notched five.

While Carey Price continues to justify the Montreal Canadiens’ decision to rest their future on him, Steve Mason writes a pretty similar redemptive story in Columbus. Last night, he stopped 47 out of 50 shots, matching a career high for saves and falling one save short of the franchise record.

Another bonus for the Blue Jackets: they’re playing well against teams who were previously riding hot streaks. The Associated Press notes that promising trend.

In a span of 10 days, Columbus ended a seven-game winning streak by St. Louis with its most lopsided victory in franchise history, put an end to the Los Angeles Kings’ club-record 8-0 start at home, and snapped a five-game home winning streak by the Ducks.

Ultimately, Columbus is 8-3 in their last 11 games. Beyond Nash and Mason, the team generated some other good performances, including backup Mathieu Garon’s two game shutout streak.

I never would have guessed that the Blue Jackets had this in them, but we’ll see if this is one hot month or if Columbus is for real. It’s difficult to argue with these results, though.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)