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COLUMBUS Tomas Plekanec Jersey Womens , Ohio (AP) The Columbus Blue Jackets played one more playoff game this season than last, but it’s all the same to general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and coach John Tortorella. Not good enough.And apparently there’s plenty of blame to go around.”Everybody has to give skin here, from the coaches right on through, as far as what happened,” Tortorella said in his exit interview with reporters Thursday.The Blue Jackets promising season fizzled out in the end. They overcame injuries to key players and finished the regular season strong, making the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second season in a row. They won the first two in the first-round playoff series on the road against the Washington Capitals, only to drop the next four straight.It ended with a thud in a 6-3 loss in Game 6 on home ice Monday night.Despite how all that sounds, the team didn’t implode, Tortorella said.”We were a good enough team to beat Washington this year,” he said. ”We just did not make that big play and or get that big save at key times, and they did.”I like our team, I like our personnel,” he said. ”The biggest thing is we need to change our mindset here, (so) that we feel we belong in the playoffs. We need to think stronger in how to find a way. I want us to be more aggressive in our thinking and expect some more.”The Blue Jackets undoubtedly will have some different faces next season. Just how many remains to be seen. Kekalainen was coy when asked if the team needs more talented players to get deeper into the playoffs.”We’re always looking to upgrade Tomas Tatar Jersey Womens , one way or another,” he said. ”I think we’re going to get better again from inside. It’s going to be the same approach.”Kekalainen cited the surprise trade last summer that brought star winger Artemi Panarin to town and the swift emergence of rookie center Pierre-Luc Dubois. But he won’t talk strategy.One the goals likely will be to sign Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky – the team’s biggest stars – to contract extensions. Both will be unrestricted free agents in 2019, and the team would like to lock them up before that.Defenseman Jack Johnson and forward Matt Calvert will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, so the Blue Jackets will have to make a decision on whether to sign them to new contracts. The 28-year-old Calvert, the longest tenured Blue Jacket at eight seasons but never more than a bottom six player, tied his career-high season point total with 24 and had three playoff goals.The Blue Jackets also will have to decide whether to re-sign forwards Thomas Vanek and Mark Letestu and defensemen Ian Cole, all of whom were added at the trade deadline.Columbus finished with 97 points, second most in franchise history after last season’s 108, and qualified for the playoffs as a wildcard. The team punctuated a furious comeback down the stretch with a 10-game winning streak in March.But the playoffs were a bust. Again.”We expected more out of ourselves this year,” defenseman Zach Werenski said on his way out this week. ”Go up 2-0 on the road, come back home we don’t get a win. I just think we have higher expectations, and we should. We are a good hockey team and we fell short of our goals this year. At the end of the day, if you are not holding the Stanley Cup, it’s kind of a failed season. This one definitely stings.”— Both teams will have a number of new faces in the lineup when the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Ottawa Senators in the season opener for both teams at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.In other words Tom Kuhnhackl Jersey Womens , it should be a busy night for the program sellers.Making their debuts for the Senators will be three former San Jose Sharks who were acquired in separate offseason trades. Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker are scheduled to skate on the Ottawa’s third line while Dylan DeMelo is slated to work on the third blue-line pairing alongside Max Lajoie, a 20-year old who will be playing his first NHL game.Article continues below …Tierney was part of the deal in which Ottawa sent star defenseman and two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson to San Jose.Lajoie, who has just one season of pro experience, was the surprise of camp.“He’s shown so much poise, and so much calm in the face of all kinds of pressure,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said of Lajoie, the Senators’ fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft. “He went through the American Hockey League. It’s not like a junior kid that’s just coming up.”Boedker is a former first-rounder who was acquired in a deal for Mike Hoffman, who had 107 goals in 342 games for Ottawa. Boedker has eight goals in 11 career games versus the Senators, but only scored 25 times in the past two seasons with San Jose.The rebuilding Senators will need him to pick up some of the slack on offense, particularly with the loss of Karlsson, who tied for the team lead with 62 points last season.“You’re always a little nervous for the first game,” said Boedker, “but i think the excitement of a new season starting, a new opportunity that lay ahead Anthony Beauvillier Jersey Womens , that kind of takes over and wipes out the nervousness. It’s a fresh start for all of us in here, so I think we’ve all got to play with a little chip on our shoulder and prove a lot of people wrong.”Meanwhile, three Blackhawks will be making their NHL debuts in Ottawa: defenseman Henri Jokiharju, center Luke Johnson and winger Dominik Kahun.Jakiharju, a first-round pick in 2017, is tentatively scheduled to skate alongside Duncan Keith on the first pairing. The undrafted Kahun is penciled in on the right side of first-line center Jonathan Toews and Johnson is working the middle on the fourth line.“I’ve waited all by childhood to play in the NHL … it’s going to be fun,” Jakiharju told the Blackhawks website. “It’s going to be a huge game, but I’m not going to make it any bigger than what it’s going to be, and try not to think about it too much. It’s one game for me. Best time of my life right now, so I’m just going to enjoy it.”Johnson echoed similar sentiments on the website.“I’ve worked so hard my whole life to get here and finally it’s here,” he said. “It’s definitely exciting and I’m a little nervous, but I think I’m more excited than nervous. I don’t want to just play a few games. I want to stick around and make a career out of it. I think I’ve just got to do what I do best and play my game and work.”Also making their Chicago debuts will be veterans Chris Kunitz, who played for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, and Brandon Manning Dustin Tokarski Jersey Womens , who was on the Philadelphia Flyers blue line.“That’s what teams need to be successful,” Kunitz, a four-time Cup champion, told the website when asked about a mix of youth and experience. “You need the older, veteran core players to do their part, but you also need, every year, a rookie or two to step up so you can duplicate that next year and get better and grow.“Every team that’s successful has a little bit of everybody. Our job as older guys is to make them comfortable and get them into the routine of the NHL as quick as we can, so we can come out as a successful team.”
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