Found March 27, 2013 on Fox Sports Ohio:
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers are outside the Western Conference playoff picture, but both have a chance to end postseason droughts. More solid goaltending would help. Columbus has a chance to set a team record for points in a month Thursday night when the Oilers open a three-game homestand. The Blue Jackets (13-13-7) have made the postseason once since entering the NHL in 2000, and they were swept in that 2009 first-round series by Detroit. Columbus, though, is closing on the top eight in the West with points in 13 of 14 games. The club has matched the most points in a month in franchise history with 20, which was last accomplished in March 2009. The Blue Jackets' struggles on the offensive end continue - their 2.15 goals per game in March is the same as their league-worst average - so much of their recent success can be credited to Sergei Bobrovsky. The first-year Blue Jacket is 8-1-3 with a 1.23 goals-against average this month. All three of his career shutouts have come in his last nine starts after making 34 saves in Tuesday's 1-0 shootout loss at Vancouver. "He was by far our best player out there, he gave us a chance to maybe win in overtime," leading scorer Vinny Prospal said after Columbus had its second-fewest shots of the season with 17. "We don't score enough goals as it is and today I don't think we really played that hard as a team." The Oilers (12-13-7) are much more encouraged by their most recent effort, a 3-0 victory at St. Louis on Tuesday that ended an 0-2-1 skid. Coach Ralph Krueger called it the team's "most complete game of the year." "To take this game going forward with us is going to be important," he said. "We're going to work very hard at maintaining this kind of hockey." The Oilers haven't been to the postseason since losing in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup finals to Carolina, but a string of strong performances in net over the final 16 games could help them change that. Devan Dubnyk has been shaky of late, yielding three goals in three of his last four starts, but Nikolai Khabibulin gave the club a big lift Tuesday with 43 saves. It was his second start following a stint on injured reserve with a groin injury. "He's worked really hard to come back from surgery and it's great to see him play well," said left wing Taylor Hall, who scored and set up both of Jordan Eberle's goals. Krueger, though, wouldn't commit to giving the 40-year-old another look Thursday. Dubnyk has turned aside 74 of 78 shots as these clubs have split two games in Columbus this season. Edmonton won 3-1 on Feb. 10 and the Blue Jackets came away with a 4-3 shootout victory March 5 that helped them avoid a fourth consecutive loss in this series. Bobrovsky stopped all 21 shots he faced in that contest as a second-period replacement for Steve Mason. Magnus Paajarvi leads the Oilers with two goals against Columbus this season, while Prospal had two points in those games. Backed by Dubnyk's 22 saves, Edmonton won 3-0 in Columbus' visit last March 14, 2012. The Oilers have won four in a row with the Blue Jackets in town to improve to 17-4-1 at home in the series.

Jackets' Murray shouldering disappointment well

Ryan Murray was being polite, but he wasnt buying the question, not in the least. I had asked him, since his left shoulder had been bothering him before the dislocation last November, if it wasnt for the best that the injury happened now, when he is still very young and can likely bounce back quickly. After pausing for a bit, the soft-spoken defenseman and 2nd overall pick by the...

Julie Robenhymer: Atkinson's New Digs in Columbus and the Nickname That Never Says Never

If you understand Swedish, here's an article I wrote about Can Atkinson's new digs in Columbus and his nickname - "Biebs". If you don't understand Swedish, here's the English version... Right winger Cam Atkinson is in his second professional season and after splitting last year between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their AHL affiliate in Springfield,...

Should the Oilers trade Ales Hemsky?

One would think that with the surplus of young forwards that the Edmonton Oilers have, the club is sure to explore trade possibilities for struggling forward Ales Hemsky before the trade deadline. However, with hopes of reaching a playoff spot still alive, John Shannon suggests that the Oilers have not put Hemsky available for trade – yet. However, if they were to move the Czech...

Jackets drop must-win game vs Edmonton

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Ales Hemsky scored the go-ahead goal with 3:08 remaining to lead the Edmonton Oilers to their second straight victory, 6-4 over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. Shortly after a huge save by goalie Devan Dubnyk, Hemsky took the puck down the length of the ice and danced around several defenders before getting a highlight-reel goal past Columbus...

Khabibulin, Oilers blank Blues 3-0

ST. LOUIS (AP) Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 43 shots and Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist and the Edmonton Oilers shut out the St. Louis Blues 3-0 Tuesday. The victory was the first for the Oilers in four games, which included a 3-0 loss to the Blues on Saturday in Edmonton. It was the Oilers' first win in St. Louis since Dec. 11, 2009. Despite notching a season high...

Oilers Fading Fast

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun, You know why nobody’s penned a country music song about the Edmonton Oilers yet? Because all of the tear drops make the paper too soggy to write on. Instead of the dog dyin’, it’s Edmonton’s mangy-looking playoff hopes that are always being put out of their misery. Year after year after year after year after year after...

Blue Jackets-Oilers Preview

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers are outside the Western Conference playoff picture, but both have a chance to end postseason droughts. More solid goaltending would help. Columbus has a chance to set a team record for points in a month Thursday night when the Oilers open a three-game homestand. The Blue Jackets (13-13-7) have made the postseason once since entering...

Richard Cloutier: Iggy to Boston; Lucic to Edmonton?

If I'm right about what is going to occur, this could be my Scoop of the Year. It sounds like the Calgary Flames have a deal in place to move Jarome Iginla to Boston. It is believed the Bruins will give up a 1st round pick and two prospects in the deal. Hold your breath folks...there is an Oilers angle to this. The Oilers will be dealing defenseman Ryan Whitney, Magnus...

Richard Cloutier: Iggy to Boston; Lucic to Edmonton...New Information

More on the rumor I posted earlier... It sounds like the asking price for Milan Lucic is more than Ryan Whitney, Magnus Paajarvi and Anton Lander. Hold on to your hats, folks, because the Oilers could be rolling the Risk Dice tonight. Will it come up all 6's? Make the deal Lucic for Whitney, Paajarvi, and the Oilers 1st round pick in 2013. Holy smokes. So here's...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.