With a five-game winning streak going and tonight’s game against the lowly Buffalo Sabres in mind, life seems pretty sweet for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Maybe too sweet.
That seems to be head coach Todd Richards’ worry, as he expressed concern about the Blue Jackets taking the Sabres too lightly on Saturday, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“I mentioned it to the guys even last night (after the Capitals’ game),” Richards said. “You come off a big game and you’re excited. I’m looking at last night, because we talked about how big that game was. But a lot of times you look at the standings and see where the opponent is and see where you are … we can’t fall into that trap.
“We were there last season. We were at the bottom of the standings (after six weeks), and I think we did sneak up on some teams. The way (the Sabres) are working right now, if that’s our attitude and our mentality, that we think this is going to be an easy game, we’re mistaken — we’ll be after the game sitting in our stalls or sitting on the plane wondering what happened.”
That’s a good thought, but it does beg the question as to whether or not a team ranked 11th in the Eastern Conference should really be that concerned with upsets.
In other Blue Jackets news, Columbus is rolling with Sergei Bobrovsky in back-to-back starts today.
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat