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Brad Friedman The Hockey Writers

Published on Wednesday, March 18, 2015





Oh, Canada – Not so Friendly to Columbus

International road trips have been a struggle for the Jackets.

Columbus has played in five games north of the border this season ahead of tonight’s game in Edmonton. With the exception of its Feb. 7 game in Ottawa, those games have all resulted in losses.

The Blue Jackets were outscored 16-9 in those games, 15-5 if you exclude their 4-1 win over Ottawa, despite being outshot in only two of the games. Tonight’s contest will kick off a three-game Canadian road trip which also includes stops in Vancouver and Calgary.

Before the Blue Jackets say bon voyage to their friends up north, we’ll take a moment to recap their trips north of the border thus far.

Feb. 21 – Columbus: 1 Montreal: 3

The Canadiens jumped on the Blue Jackets early, an all-too common trend for Columbus this season. Max Pacioretty ripped a wrister past Curtis McElhinney 2:29 into the game and tallied another goal, also from the right circle, 11 minutes later. Nick Foligno responded with a goal of his own and the score stood at 2-1 until Montreal scored an empty-netter with 50 seconds to play in the game.

Columbus allowed only 24 shots on goal, a far cry from its average of 33 shots against per game, and fired off 32 shots of its own, but Carey Price was spectacular that evening. He made 31 saves and earned second star honors.

Feb. 7 – Columbus: 4 Ottawa: 1

Despite both teams firing off a combined 46 shots through 40 minutes, all of the scoring came during the final 20 minutes. Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno registered goals four minutes apart from one another early on, but a Erik Condra sliced the lead in half 10 minutes into the period.

Columbus put the game away with an empty-netter and even strength goal during the final two minutes of the game. Curtis McElhinney put on a show that night and took first star honors with 34 saves.

January 21 – Columbus: 0 Winnipeg: 4

A night to forget for the Blue Jackets. On top of losing Sergei Bobrovsky to a groin injury, which caused him to miss the all-star game, Columbus found itself in a 2-0 hole only 9 minutes into the game. The score ballooned to 4-0 before the second period concluded and Columbus rolled into the break on a low note.

Though the shots were even at 29, Winnipeg won the face-off and blocked shots battles.

Jan. 9 – Columbus: 2 Toronto: 5

Ryan Johansen put Columbus on the board just 3:15 into the game, but it was all downhill from there. Toronto fired off 17 shots and scored four times on Sergei Bobrovsky during the first period. Johansen scored again in the second, but Columbus managed to muster only 20 shots, making a comeback impossible.

That shot total is more shocking when you factor in four Columbus power plays and a fairly even faceoff win total.

Oct. 18 Columbus: 2 Ottawa: 3

Among all of Columbus’s games in Canada, this one was the most competitive. An Erik Karlsson goal put the Senators up two early in the second, but Nick Foligno and David Savard registered goals a minute apart from one another towards the end of the period. Mike Hoffman netted the game-winner halfway through the third period.

Both McElhinney and Bobrovsky played and saved 37 shots between the two of them.


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