Video: Blue Jackets celebrate Hartnell’s 1000th game


Scott Hartnell played in his 1,000th career NHL game on Monday and the Columbus Blue Jackets chose to celebrate that accomplishment prior to tonight’s contest. The timing worked out nicely as the Philadelphia Flyers were able to witness the event before facing their former teammate.

Hartnell, 32, played in 517 games with Nashville and another 436 with the Flyers. Along the way he reached the 30-goal mark twice and aided Philadelphia in its 2009-10 run to the Stanley Cup Final.

He inked a six-year, $28.5 million contract extension with Philadelphia back in 2012, but the team dealt him to Columbus over the summer in exchange for R.J. Umberger and a 2015 fourth round selection.

Hartnell went into tonight’s game with 13 goals, 34 points, and 69 penalty minutes in 47 contests this season.

Jackets thump the Blues, but lose Murray


The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a three game losing streak with a 7-1 win over the St. Louis Blues Friday night.

However, defenseman Ryan Murray left the game early in the third period with a lower body injury and did not return.

Murray has been plagued by knee problems, which has limited the 21-year-old to just eight games this season.

Nick Foligno had two goals and an assist while Ryan Johansen had a goal and two helpers in the win.

Cam Atkinson, Corey Tropp, Matt Calvert and Scott Hartnell had the other Jackets’ goals.

Paul Stastny had the lone goal for the Blues, who had their seven-game win streak snapped.

Curtis McElhinney made 32 saves in the win while Brian Elliott, who allowed four goals on 14 shots was saddled with the loss.

Jake Allen allowed three goals on 19 shots in relief.

The two teams meet for a second and final time on March 28.

Philly’s Couturier-Read-Umberger line had a tough day today


The Philadelphia Flyers lost again this afternoon, falling 7-4 on the road to the New York Islanders.

Based on the box score, the line of Sean Couturier between wingers Matt Read and R.J. Umberger had a particularly tough outing. Couturier and Read each finished minus-5; Umberger was minus-4.

Now, granted, plus-minus is an extremely flawed stat; however, when a trio is that deep in the red, it’s going to be a topic of conversation. (And that it was on Twitter.) The line also had poor Corsi numbers, and in the non-statistical department, left coach Craig Berube questioning their effort level.

So far this season, Couturier has played around 80 percent of his five-on-five minutes with Read and just over half of them with Umberger, who of course was traded to Philly for Scott Hartnell in June.

There’s an argument to be made that Umberger, 32, has dragged Couturier, 22, and Read, 28, down. Last season, Couturier played mostly with Read, but also spent a good deal of time with Steve Downie, now with Pittsburgh.

Both Couturier and Read had better possession numbers last season.

Anyway, feel free to chime in, Flyers fans. Do Couturier and Read need to be freed from Umberger, or do they just need to play better?

Blue Jackets get Hartnell back, but lose Bobrovsky (illness)


The Columbus Blue Jackets can’t seem to catch a break this season. They will get back Scott Hartnell tonight after a roughly two week absence due to a broken finger, but now number one goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is out of the lineup, per the team’s Twitter account.

Bobrovsky is dealing with an illness, or more specifically a “stomach issue,” which is a noteworthy detail in the midst of the NHL’s mumps outbreak. Netminder Anton Forsberg, 22, has been called up to serve as Curtis McElhinney’s understudy tonight.

Hartnell will play alongside Ryan Johansen and Jeremy Morin in his return. He’s replacing Nick Foligno, who was knocked down to the third line.

Columbus has been battered by injuries and fell behind early this season as a result. However, the Blue Jackets went on a 9-0-1 run before finally losing in regulation to Nashville on Monday. Even after that hot streak, they’re still nine points shy of a playoff spot, so it’s important that they avoid falling further behind when they take on the Boston Bruins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Columbus hopes Hartnell can play after the holiday break

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On the heels of the Boone Jenner’s unfortunate news, the Columbus Blue Jackets are thinking of happier times, like when Scott Hartnell can return from a broken finger.

That time might just come via a Dec. 27 game against the Boston Bruins, at least if all goes well, the Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell reports. Mitchell notes that the 32-year-old skated in his gear on Saturday.

Hartnell’s been streaky in his first season with Columbus. His 17 points have come unevenly as he’s suffered through a 10-game pointless streak. He currently has a goal and two assists in his last four appearances, with Dec. 11 representing his last game played.

Even if the offense comes and goes, the banged-up Blue Jackets would love to have Hartnell back soon. Depending upon how his rehab continues, he could indeed return in a mere week.