The Columbus Blue Jackets might not have the best streak of the 2013 season, but it’s likely the least expected.
The increasingly scrappy bunch held off a desperate Nashville Predators squad to win 4-3 on Tuesday, improving their point streak to 11 games (7-0-4).
That run suddenly thrusts the Blue Jackets into the thick of things. They’re now ranked 10th in the West with 30 points in 30 games played. The eight-place San Jose Sharks and ninth-place Phoenix Coyotes* have 30 points with less games played, but it’s impressive that the Blue Jackets are this close.
Tuesday’s game felt like a reversal of fortune in many ways. While Columbus keeps scrapping out points by a small margin of error, the Predators look hapless on an ugly four-game losing streak. Nashville is also 4-10-1 since Feb. 16, with its vaunted defense faltering dramatically in recent games.
We’ll see if these trends continue, but for one night, it looked like two teams on opposite paths.
* – Coyotes game in progress.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.