Found January 25, 2013 on Fox Sports Ohio:
Its the fastest league in the world, and the best. So it stands to reason if a player in the NHL takes anything for granted on the ice, bad things happen. Passes get picked off, opponents go blowing by you, or the puck goes in top shelf, blocker side. Theres an absolute premium in this league on staying razor-sharp with your focus and always trying to anticipate what could happen next. And so it is with careers, especially for that majority of players who have to prove themselves year after year, shift after shift, no matter what success they may have achieved in the past. Take Blue Jackets center Mark Letestu, for example. Just two years ago, he was named Pittsburgh Penguins rookie of the year after tallying 27 points in 64 games for the Pens. Last season, after being acquired in a trade by Columbus, Letestu finished the year with strong numbers, scoring six goals, adding six assists and going 8 in his final 17 games. Overall, he generated 11 goals and added 13 assists in 51 games played with the Blue Jackets. Thats solid production. But fast forward to the start of this season, and the native of Alberta found himself a healthy scratch, at least for the first two games at Nashville and home vs. Detroit. Letestu wasnt phased, though. He knows this league is all about proving yourself, all the time. You know you just dont take anything for granted, he said. Two years now Ive put in pretty good seasons in this league, but youre always battling. No matter what you did before, youre battling year after year. And I think its critical to be coming into camp every year and putting your best foot forward, because you never know where you might be in the lineup. Im definitely learning that every year, to take care of yourself and be ready for every year on its own. As much as he understands the continuous battle to prove himself and earn every minute of his ice time, Letestu has also been anxious to prove he can carry over the late-season surge in production last year to his game this season. That productive stretch gave him a confidence boost hes looking forward to applying now. I think I can hang my hat on the way that I finished last year, he noted. The coach put a lot of trust in me and gave me a lot of ice time at the end of last year. But at the same time, you understand theyre putting the lineup out there they feel has the best chance of winning. For me, I have to work as hard as I can to get in that picture and make it real difficult for them to take me out. While hes definitely not the Blue Jackets most flashy player, theres a lot to like about Letestus steady, reliable game and solid work on faceoffs. Its a responsible game, he explained, based on a lot of positioning and knowing the systems, being predictable to my teammates. And when I get a chance, he added, Ive been lucky enough to put away a few goals. Obviously, the faceoff circles another thing that gets me some ice time, getting out there in key situations. You know, for big draws, it can get you some more shifts. I hope my game is one the coaches trust when Im on the ice. In his brief NHL career, the 27-year-old Letestu (28 on 2413) is averaging 16 goals per season. Thats good goal production for a centerman whos also very mindful of his own zone. But, after this off-seasons acquisitions, Columbus is pretty deep up the middle. So Letestu continues to work hard, in practice and in the weight room, waiting for the time when he gets the nod from the coaching staff night after night. In other words, hes taking nothing for granted.

Channel information for Monsters Blue Jackets

Lake Erie Monsters at 7pm This game will be on the main cable channel in Cleveland and Youngstown areas only.It will also be on FSCincinnati on Direct TV, Dish & AT&TAT&T alternate channel: 692 SD1692 HD Blue Jackets at 9pm Blue Jackets Live pregame at 8:30pm This game will be on the main cable channel in all Blue Jackets viewing areas outside Cleveland and Youngstown...

Blue Jackets can't slow down perfect Blackhawks

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner early in the third period and Corey Crawford had 24 saves to help Chicago match the best start in franchise history with a 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets, running the Blackhawks' record to 5-0-0. The only other time the Blackhawks began a season 5-0-0 was 1971-72. Patrick Kane had two assists...

Blackhawks Escape Columbus, Remain Undefeated

It took them roughly 15 minutes to show up, but the Blackhawks once again handled their business against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Corey Crawford had another strong game, allowing a goal in the first period against a … Continue reading →The post Blackhawks Escape Columbus, Remain Undefeated appeared first on Committed Indians.
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