It’s unfamiliar territory for the Columbus Blue Jackets and their fans.
The Blue Jackets defeated the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night, securing a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for only the second time in franchise history. The last time they qualified for the post-season was in 2009, and they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round.
Only four playoff games in the franchise’s history. Well, that’s about to change.
“It’s a huge step for our organization. And to me, it’s just a step. But we’re ready to take the next one,” said Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards, as per the club’s official Twitter account.
“It’s been a long time and I’m happy for this team, this organization and the fans. They deserve it,” added forward Jared Boll, as per Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch.
Here’s some Twitter reaction from some Blue Jackets players:
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.