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Blue Jackets surprise Gaborik with their speed

Apr 5, 2013, 8:03 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 4: Marian Gaborik #10 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates the puck in to the zone against Roman Josi #59 of the Nashville Predators during an NHL game at the Bridgestone Arena on April 4, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

Marian Gaborik‘s first game with the Columbus Blue Jackets is in the books.

He played a key role in Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators and liked what he saw from his teammates.

“I was a little bit surprised by the speed of this team,” Gaborik said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “The young guys, the small forwards … they were flying. We were supporting each other out there, everybody contributing. And ‘Bob’ was tremendous, making save after save.

“It’s going to be fine. I feel good about this.”

The fact that Gaborik is embracing his new home shows how far this franchise has come in such a short time.

They never seemed to be able to get Jeff Carter to warm to the idea of being a Blue Jackets player after acquiring him in the summer of 2011. They ended up cutting their losses with Carter and then even the face of their franchise, Rick Nash, decided it was time to abandon ship.

Now the Blue Jackets are in the playoff hunt, thanks in large part to goaltender Sergei “Bob” Bobrovsky, and Gaborik was willing to waive his no-trade clause to come in from the New York Rangers.

Gaborik netted the game-winning goal in his debut. If you missed it earlier, you can view it below:

  1. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Sounds like he just took a shot at the slower, bigger and grinder Rangers.

    • east96st - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:50 AM

      I think it’s more saying, “Wow. This place isn’t hockey hell anymore.”. Have to give JD credit, guys aren’t taking off shifts, or even entire games, off anymore. They are actually acting like they are playing for their jobs and I can’t remember the last time that happened in Columbus. Even my wife, who sees maybe five games a year tops, noticed the difference the last game we went to. We were halfway through the first period and she said guys were flying around the rink. The big test comes next year when the grind of a full season hits. That will be the key to the Jackets future. If JD can have them in the playoffs next year then Mike Priest becomes marginalized. Mike Priest is the benign tumor of CBJ. He’s just waiting for a bad season to push his way back to power. As long as he controls the purse strings, Columbus will never be fully free to become the best team that JD can make it. Priest should have fired before Howson. He is, by far, the worse of the two. Howson was just in over his head. Priest is destructive.

    • nicknyhc - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      The Rangers are not by any means a slow team.

      Hagelin is the fastest skater in the NHL. Kreider, Nash, and Zuccarello all fly. Torts’ style of team play is slower and more conservative, but there is definitely speed on that team.

      • gospitfires - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        zuccarello has played 13 games for the club in the last 2 seasons (3 this year), and Krieder has only played 17 this year. not much speed when 2 of the 4 are not even every day starters. and to be fair, while nash is a great player, this is the firsttime ive ever seen his speed listed as his first asset. normally when people talk nash its his hands and size, not to say he is slow, but nobody talks about him like hes the second coming of pavel bure when it comes to his footspeed.

  2. 5hole26 - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    rangers are a slow team. first good game they played all.season was wednesday. that will be their last brah

  3. rodeoclowndc - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    We feel good about you too, Gabo… I think you sent the right message to the guys around you with the win over a team that perpetually used us as a speed bump.

  4. kingsforever - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Don’t blame Carter, who would want to live in ‘lumbus?

    • east96st - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Not going to lie and say it’s paradise, but for a wealthy hockey player, Columbus is a great fiscal deal. Carter came to Columbus from Philly. Carter could have had twice the mansion he would have had in the Philly burbs for the same price, domestic help would have been cheaper, he would paid less in taxes, his kids would have their pick of some damn fine private schools, and his commute to the Arena would have been under 30 minutes.. Now, if Jeff and the wife were regulars at the Opera, yeah, Columbus would not be ideal. Then again, neither would Philly. He would want NYC for that. But a well paid hockey player could live quite large in Columbus and the surrounding areas and have quite a bit of change left over. Columbus is about 15% cheaper across the board than Philly and about 40% cheaper than Los Angeles where he ended up.

      • gospitfires - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        while they are having a fine season right now, the playoffs are anything but assured for the jackets right now, so was the reason Carter wanted out because the city of Columbus wasnt to his liking? or that the team has been bad since the day it entered the league and nobody wants to play for a perenial non playoff team, especially a guy locked into a new 8 year deal

    • dereklenehan - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Had to register with flippin wordpress just to respond to this.

      Columbus is awesome. Carter didn’t want to be here because he signed a decade-plus extension with Philly with an NTC that took effect after the first year of the contract. Clearly he didn’t want to go anywhere. I imagine his later success in LA came from being with old teammates and having enough time to accept being dealt by Philly.

      If you have any questions about who would want to live here, ask the people who voted us the most intelligent city in America (and still in play for #1 in the world), who constantly vote us in the top 10 best places to live in America (CNN, Business Week, etc.), who routinely vote us one of the best for young adults, etc. Shoot we were even voted #2 manliest city in the country, although I don’t know how good a source Combos is.

      And we have like three legendary food trucks. Come on.

      • colby7 - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        Good for you man! Deffinitly nothing wrong with Columbus, I think any rational hockey fan can see that it was a problem with team management and direction.

  5. LampyB - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Great to see Columbus finally hitting stride. They’ve got a solid foundation to make the playoffs, and will be able to build on this next season.

  6. dutchman1350 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    east96st – Mike Priest’s job is not hockey operations. He was vital in getting the All-Star game (hopefully it still happens), the new Hilton hotel, the new arena deal. This is his area of expertise, and with JD, Jarmo, we have legitimate executive office.

    • east96st - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Mike Priest was the President. He now controls the money. If you think the guy who controls the money does NOT have a say in how things are run in ANY organization, you know nothing about business. As for your list of Priest’s “accomplishments”, you’re absolutely delusional. Priest was not a major player in ANY of those projects. You’re getting your info from the Columbus Dispatch and you’re ignoring that the Dispatch is a partial owner of the Jackets. That was ownership propaganda put out because a large portion of season ticket holders were in open revolt over Priest being President. The ONLY thing Mike Priest ever accomplished was to parlay his job as a financial adviser to the McConnell family into being named the President of the Jackets despite not having ANY NHL or organized sports experience. The sooner he is completely removed from the Jackets, the better for the team and for Columbus.

  7. ryanoffski - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Jackets are legit now!

  8. dutchman1350 - Apr 5, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    east96st – Thanks for the education.on business. If you ever need a job, let me know my 40 year business could use your expertise. Unless, you are too busy running your own company…let me know.

    Fact is, Mike Priest was very influential in the owners meetings during the lockout.

    • east96st - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Whatever you need to tell yourself.

      Here’s a hint, you would have a LOT more credibility if you just came clean and admitted he’s your golf buddy, or neighbor, or college roommate and you feel compelled to stick up for him because you like him. That’s okay. You’re allowed to defend a buddy. Maybe, he’s a fine human being outside of work. I don’t know him personally. We met once, talked about how season ticket holders were being treated, and I came away completely unimpressed and put off by his arrogance. But, I’ll admit that doesn’t mean you don’t know another side of the guy. Giving the guy credit for things he didn’t do doesn’t bolster his case. It undermines it.

  9. lsxphotog - Apr 5, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Glad the Jackets got another flashy scorer – every team needs one. Too bad Nashville couldn’t grab him up since their stars are a goalie and a defenseman. Granted, two of the best in the league, but still not “exciting” to boast about. haha

  10. jaybyrd99 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    good luck to gabby. i’ll miss him in new york but it was obvious torts didn’t want him there and he wasn’t producing this year. hopefully it works out for both teams. he gave the team 2 tremendous seasons(his first and third in nyc) and the memory of his triple overtime goal vs Washington in last year’s playoffs.

  11. jacketsfan7 - Apr 5, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Must say , love this guy , I don’t think he’s gonna turn into another “Jeff carter”

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