Jack Johnson

Jackets’ Johnson on 7-0 loss: ‘That was a [blank] show’


The Edmonton Oilers’ struggles gets plenty of attention, but they aren’t the only team facing hard times. Tuesday highlighted that, as the Oilers embarrassed the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 7-0.

Defenseman Jack Johnson might not have been the angriest after the game, but his comments to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline may rank as the most memorable (and, in this case, most censored).

“That was a [blank] show,” Johnson said. “An absolute [blank] game. The only good thing right now is we get a chance to play tomorrow.”

Nick Foligno’s language was a little cleaner, merely calling the defeat “disgusting.” Head coach Todd Richards had a slightly more sophisticated take on the humiliating loss.

““We were just playing to run the clock out,” Richards said. “To me, as a coach, you watch certain things and certain players, to see how they are going to respond in tough situations … we had guys who just wanted to get the game over with, which I’m really disappointed with.”

With just 14 shots on goal despite a serious drubbing, it’s tough to argue with Richards’ take.

It’s also difficult to deny the notion that Columbus might be one of the worst teams in the NHL. They’ve now gone just 2-6-3 in their last 11 games, while Sergei Bobrovsky’s been far from a Vezina-caliber performer.

The Oilers draw far more rumors because of the breathless coverage that follows them, but considering the circumstances, maybe the Blue Jackets are just as much in need of bold changes.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.