Columbus Blue Jackets' William Karlsson, right, of Sweden, works against Montreal Canadiens' Torrey Mitchell during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Canadiens’ collapse resumes with loss to Blue Jackets


You know things are bad when a center-ice goal just provides a brief bit of joy.

The Montreal Canadiens stopped the bleeding from their troubling losing streak on Saturday, yet that shootout win only provided momentary relief.

They fell back down tonight, dropping a 5-2 loss to the banged-up Columbus Blue Jackets, who don’t even have a healthy head coach.

It’s just been that sort of stretch for Montreal. Since a 3-2 loss to the Capitals on Dec. 3, the Habs have hobbled to a 5-17-1 record.

That’s truly one of those double-take deals, as Montreal only has three wins (and has only generate seven standings points) so far in 2016.

The game was tied 2-2 heading into the third, but Columbus bounced back from that embarrassing goal. Brandon Saad scored the game-winner and added an empty-netter while dog-winner Cam Atkinson grabbed a hat trick.

In about 11 minutes, it went from a possible confidence-builder to an embarrassing night for Montreal, who will turn around and host Columbus tomorrow.

Things are so ugly, you almost wonder about Michel Therrien as the All-Star break nears … but hey, he does have the vote of confidence, right?

At least one positive for Blue Jackets: Seth Jones looks legit

Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Seth Jones (3) battles for the puck against Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner (51) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

You know how a significant chunk of people felt like the Seth JonesRyan Johansen could benefit everyone involved? So far … that seems pretty much dead-on.

Now, one could split hairs about who benefits their team more, but honestly? We’ll likely have a decade-plus to fuss about that.

The bottom line is that things are rough for the Columbus Blue Jackets – even John Tortorella can’t stay healthy – so maybe Jones’ fantastic work is flying under the radar for most. He’s been impressive enough that he might even make some Blue Jackets fans feel optimistic.

The fancy stats argue at much.

In case you’re brain shut down for a second there, the 21-year-old’s strong play is showing in more traditional ways, too.

He just saw a four-game point streak (five assists) end on Saturday, giving him five points in his eight games with Columbus. He only had 11 in 40 with Nashville, so it’s clear that he’s thriving with almost five extra minutes of ice time per game.

This hasn’t been the season the Blue Jackets were hoping for, but so far, Jones has been as promising as advertised.

Calvert and Foligno expected back in Blue Jackets lineup versus Bruins

Columbus Blue Jackets v Los Angeles Kings

John Tortorella will not be behind the bench for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. But it appears Matt Calvert and captain Nick Foligno will return to the lineup versus the Boston Bruins, according to the team’s website.

Calvert, who has six goals and seven points in 39 games this season, hasn’t played since Dec. 29 after he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Foligno has been out since Jan. 8 after he took a high hit from Carolina’s Brad Malone, which the Blue Jackets leader was still taking umbrage with weeks after it occurred, calling it a “joke of a hit.”

Meanwhile, associate coach Craig Hartsburg will take over for Torts behind the bench. Tortorella suffered two broken ribs after being involved in a collision with Rene Bourque during Friday’s practice.

“He’s hurtin’,” Hartsburg told the Columbus Dispatch of Tortorella.

“I talked to him briefly. He didn’t get much sleep. He basically said he can’t move. It’s a tough thing for him, and obviously for us. His health is the most important thing.”

Torts gets banged up at practice; Bobrovsky has MRI; Forsberg recalled on emergency basis; the Blue Jackets, man

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella gives instructions during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ season was summed up rather well during this morning’s outdoor practice across the street from Nationwide Arena.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Coach John Tortorella suffered back and possible hip injuries in a nasty fall after he collided with Blue Jackets forward Rene Bourque during practice. Tortorella was attended to by the Blue Jackets training staff and left practice early, skating off under his own power to a smattering of applause by fans who were watching.

Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said Tortorella’s back “locked up.” He was seen by club doctors, but is expected to travel with the club to Boston today in advance of Saturday’s game against the Bruins in TD Garden.

Bourque said he “hit a rut” before colliding with his coach.

Meanwhile, there was no update on goalie Sergei Bobrovksy, other than he had an MRI this morning. Last night, the 27-year-old had to leave halfway through the Jackets’ 4-2 loss to Calgary. The club would only say that he suffered a lower-body injury.

Bobrovsky has a history of groin injuries. In fact, he’d only just returned from one that caused him to miss 17 games.

This morning, the Blue Jackets announced that goalie Anton Forsberg had been recalled on an emergency basis from AHL Lake Erie.


Bobrovsky has been “sidelined indefinitely” with a groin strain.

Video: Blue Jackets defeat Avalanche thanks to late Jack Johnson winner


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) In a season when the Columbus Blue Jackets have been on the wrong side of bad bounces and injuries to key players, one swing of defensemen Jack Johnson‘s stick against Colorado changed their luck – at least for one game.

Johnson scored with 1:07 left off Avalanche forward Cody McLeod‘s skate to give Columbus a 2-1 victory over Colorado on Saturday night.

“I was just trying to get it by the first forward, trying to get it down by the net for our forwards,” Johnson said. “But it went in. I’ll take it.”

Johnson fired the puck toward the net from near the blue line and it sailed through the air before McLeod redirected it past goaltender Calvin Pickard.

“You don’t expect one like mine to go in, but it’s better to be lucky than good sometimes,” Johnson said.

Brandon Dubinsky slapped a shot past Pickard 58 seconds into the first for his ninth goal of the year.

The Avalanche tied it at 6:02 of the second on rookie forward Chris Wagner‘s fourth goal of the season. He redirected a shot by Jarome Iginla that trickled under the right leg of goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

Korpisalo made 29 saves and got his third career victory. Pickard stopped 19 shots.

“I thought (Korpisalo), the past two games has been outstanding,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “He looked solid tonight. There were a lot of bodies around him, a lot of screened shots, he made a couple of great saves in the period.”

Columbus missed a chance to regain the lead 8 minutes after Wagner’s goal during a Colorado power play. The Jackets had a goal waved off when William Karlsson used his skate to push a pass from Cam Atkinson into the net. Karlsson swept his stick in an effort to touch the puck before it crossed the goal line, but the call stood upon review.

The Jackets failed to score during a third-period power play, with multiple opportunities turned away by Pickard.

Colorado’s best chance to score in the period came when Nathan MacKinnon ripped a shot off the post during a power play, after referees whistled the Jackets for too many men on the ice at 10:07.

“I thought we dominated the third period,” Wagner said. “Outshot them by a good margin, they had a pretty good bounce there at the end. (McLeod) was just trying to block the shot, it’s unfortunate. Things happen I guess.”

Colorado pulled Pickard after Johnson’s score but failed to threaten Korpisalo in the final minute.

“That’s the way this game is,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “You’re going to win some that you don’t deserve to win, and sometimes you’re going to lose some that you deserve to win.”

Columbus remains in last place despite the win but has won two straight after winning at Toronto on Wednesday night. Colorado had won four of its last six to move into the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, but what Tortorella described as Johnson’s “lucky bounce” was enough for Columbus to secure the win Saturday.

“Feels good to have one of those go our way,” Dubinsky said. “Feels like it’s been one of those years where we haven’t had many bounces or calls. It’s nice to get a bouncer like that, a seeing eye shot that finds the back of the net and get us a win.”

Columbus finished 0 for 3 on the power play. Center Boone Jenner was called for two penalties – once for interference in the first and then high sticking in the second.

NOTES: Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky dressed and backed up Korpisalo but did not play after returning from a groin injury. … Bobrovsky has not played since Dec. 8. … Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury.