Columbus Blue Jackets at the IIHF World Hockey Championship: Post-Round-Robin Update


Round Robin play just finished at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic.  For some members of the Columbus Blue Jackets, that means their tournament is over.  But most of the Blue Jackets players and coaching staff participating in the tournament are moving on to the Quarterfinals.  Keep reading to find out how your favorite Jackets are doing in the tournament.

Oliver Bjorkstrand (Denmark)

Since our last World Championship post, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand – fresh off of being named WHL Player of the Year for scoring 63 goals and 55 assists in 59 games (not a typo) – joined Team Denmark in Ostrava for Group B play.  In his first game, Denmark’s 0-1 loss to USA, Bjorkstrand was kept off the score sheet, but led Denmark in shots on goals (5).  He went pointless in the remaining two games, though, recording 5 more shots in the process.

It was disappointing to see the young forward go pointless in the tournament, but it seems at least partially attributable to Denmark’s overall weak play.  The team barely averaged a goal per game and finished 7th in their group of 8 teams. We are still very much looking forward to Bjorkstrand joining the Jackets/Monsters next year!

Marko Dano (Slovakia)

But as the hockey gods give, the hockey gods take away.  As we wrote on Sunday, Blue Jackets rookie Marko Dano suffered a tournament-ending MCL tear in his right knee.  No surgery will be required, and he’s expected to need 4-5 weeks to recover, so he should be healthy for training camp.  In the five games Dano played in, he recorded the game-winning shootout goal in Slovakia’s 4-3 win over Denmark and had 14 shots on goal. Slovakia finished 5th in their group of 8 teams, and will not advance to the Quarterfinals.

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Todd Richards and Staff (USA)

Shortly after we published our previous IIHF piece praising Blue Jackets Head Coach Todd Richards for his fine work at the World Hockey Championship, USA lost its first game of the tournament 2-5 to Belarus.  But USA rebounded winning its remaining three games, with a 1-0 win over Denmark; a 3-1 win over Slovenia; and a very close 5-4 OT win over Slovakia.

USA finished Round-Robin play on top of its group of 8 teams, and over this stretch had the 4th best penalty killing rate; the 5th best goalkeeping; the 6th best scoring efficiency; and the 8th best power play efficiency.

Todd Richards will lead USA against Switzerland on Thursday, May 14 in the Quarterfinals.

Sergei Bobrovsky (Russia)

Blue Jackets Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had a shaky start to the tournament, going largely untested before USA beat Russia 4-2.  But Bobrovsky recovered with 4 wins and 2 losses in Round Robin play, recording a .902 SV% and a 1.99 GAA.  He’ll continue to start in net for Russia as they play Sweden in the Quarterfinals.

Artem Anisimov (Russia)

Artem Anisimov has had a solid tournament so far. Over seven games, he scored 1 goal and 3 assists, and had 15 shots on goal.  I expected a little more offensive output from Anisimov after he was placed on a line with NHL superstar/my fantasy team’s MVP Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis) and former-NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk, but four points and 15 shots in seven games is still very respectable. As mentioned above, Russia will play Sweden in the Quarterfinals.

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David Savard (Canada)

Savard has had a quietly productive tournament.  Over the first seven games, he recorded 2 assists and 9 shots on goal.  Although those are solid numbers for a defenseman in this tournament, Savard is on high-scoring Team Canada – 49 goals in 7 games – so I expected a little more offensive production from him.  Canada will play Belarus in the Quarterfinals.

Jeremy Morin (USA)

Jeremy Morin been very quiet this tournament.  He has not logged much ice time over the first seven games, and has been held pointless and limited to just two shots in that time. But as the Blue Jackets’ official site noted, the tournament is giving Coach Todd Richards more time to evaluate the play of Morin, who joined the Jackets in December and played in only 28 games for the team this past season. Richards was quoted as saying:

"“Just being able to play at this level will help [Morin] be able to evaluate where he is compared to where he wants to go and, as coach of this team and as the coach in Columbus, I like that I get to spend more time with him and learn more about him and continue to watch him and see how he plays. This experience just gives him a little more exposure and opportunity to show what he can do.”"

Mike Reilly (USA)

Jackets defensive prospect Mike Reilly has logged solid minutes in the first seven games of the tournament.  He finished the Round-Robin on a pairing with Seth Jones (Nashville), and has one assist and 8 shots on goal.  No word on the status of Reilly’s contract negotiations.

Quick Editor’s Note-There was a little clarification on the contract negotiations tonight from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch tonight.

We’ll have more on this later in the day

Next: James Wisniewski is Missing