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have to make certain that we do during the time he is

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    December 6, 2017 9:48 PM PST

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Cam Atkinson believes the Columbus Blue Jackets are getting better. Garrett Richards Jersey . But hes also realizes just how far they have to go. "We got a little taste of what we wanted in making the playoffs," the 24-year-old winger said the day after the Blue Jackets were eliminated in Game 6 of their wild first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. "We just won two games. Its a stepping stone." For years an NHL doormat, the Blue Jackets are both inspired and also realistic after the best season in the franchises mostly rocky 13 seasons. "I heard on the radio the other day that Game 4 is one of the great sports moments in this city," forward Mark Letestu said, referring to a three-goal comeback at home that was capped by a last-minute tying goal in regulation and Nick Folignos overtime winner. "I think theres a lot more that we can give. We can give series victories and further cement the Blue Jackets in the hearts of people here. Thats whats on guys minds right now." It was a season of firsts for the Blue Jackets, who have spent much of their existence toward the bottom of the NHL standings. They set club records with 43 regular-season wins, 21 road victories, 93 points and 231 goals. They had made the playoffs just once previously and their stay lasted only four games, all losses. But one of the leagues youngest teams overcame a 5-10-0 start with a strong finish to clinch a playoff spot. Then, they won Games 2 and 4 against the Penguins with stirring comebacks. In Monday nights Game 6, they were outclassed early and trailed 4-0 heading into the final period before scoring three goals in a 4:52 span to energize a crowd of 19,189 that stood and roared throughout the final minutes. The 4-3 defeat left them disappointed, but most will likely only remember the Jackets scrambling at the finish for a possible tying goal while the Penguins struggled to hold them off. "The building was rocking," defenceman Jack Johnson said. "But theres going to be a lot more and better times ahead." Beyond everything else they accomplished, they gave their patient followers some hope. Over their past 111 games, the Blue Jackets are 62-37-12 -- far and away the best such span in the franchises history, and exceeded by only seven other teams in the league. "Its been great to see where we came from halfway through last season to where we are now and how excited the city gets," said fourth-line centre Derek MacKenzie, an unrestricted free agent this summer. "Weve already talked about that. What would it be like if we could have a great start? Is that arena going to be like that all season long? We sure hope so." The Blue Jackets poor history has become, well, old news. "Everybody hears about the past," said rookie defenceman Ryan Murray, taken No. 2 in the 2012 draft. "It hasnt been very good. Everybody thats here now just wants to change that, to change the culture and bring in more fans and change the city into a hockey town." Judging from the capacity crowds down the stretch and in the playoffs, and the excitement generated around this city of 787,000. For the past few weeks, the Blue Jackets have been the talk of the town, pulling off a rare coup by bumping Ohio State football off the front page of the local newspaper. Now that the Blue Jackets have stamped themselves as a good team, the hard part is getting better. "I dont think were going to catch anybody by surprise anymore," defenceman James Wisniewski said. "Everybody realizes the identity that weve created here, that its going to be a hard-fought game and that theyre going to have to bring their A game or were going to run them out of the building." Many of the Blue Jackets had already shaved off their playoff beards before meetings with the coaching staff on Tuesday morning. Several of the younger players were barely able to grow one. So now a team that didnt know what it was missing when it didnt make the playoffs is disappointed that it has been eliminated. "Ill be watching (the playoffs) for sure," Atkinson said. "What else is there to do now? You wish you could be playing." Reggie Jackson Jersey . Hamelin overcame a weak start to win bronze in the 500-metre race behind winner Wu Dajing of China and American J.R. Celski on Saturday at the world short track speed skating championship. Martin Maldonado Jersey . Vonn "reopened" the idea of competing in the season-opening World Cup event on Oct. 26-27 in Soelden, Austria after returning to the slopes last month in Portillo, Chile.LONDON - Saido Berahino was rewarded for his prolific form for West Bromwich Albion by earning a first call-up by England on Thursday, while winger Theo Walcott is back despite playing only 10 minutes for Arsenal after a 10-month injury absence.There were also recalls for midfielders Ross Barkley, Stewart Downing and Michael Carrick ahead of Englands European Championship qualifier at home to Slovenia on Nov. 15 and a friendly against neighbour Scotland in Glasgow three days later.Captain Wayne Rooney was included in a 26-man squad and is set to make his 100th appearance for England against Slovenia.The Burundi-born Berahino is the top-scoring English player in the Premier League with seven goals in 10 matches, and his goals have also helped Englands under-21 team into next summers European Championship.England manager Roy Hodgson said he only hadnt called up Berahino earlier because of his importance to the under-21s.Theres no reason to pass over his credentials yet again, Hodgson said. Im sure Saido will come wanting to play, but he faces stiff competition and he understands that. Hes not just there for the learning process.Walcott only returned to action last weekend from damaged cruciate knee ligaments after careful rehabilitation at Arsenal. Hodgson sees Walcott as a key member of his attack but may not select him in the upcoming games.He is continuing with a fitness program that we will have to make certain that we do during the time he is with us, Hodgson said. We have given him and his club the guarantee that we will do that. (Arsenal manager) Arsene (Wengger) is happy for us to take him. Ricky Nolasco Jersey. .Daniel Sturridge — Rooneys first-choice partner up front — is still missing with a calf injury and Hodgson never entertained the idea of selecting the striker after a call to Liverpool enquiring about Sturridges fitness wasnt returned by manager Brendan Rodgers.Ive left a message for Brendan — the message was that its pretty obvious that (Sturridge) is not fit, Hodgson said, and Brendans not rung back to counter that he actually is.Liverpool right back Glen Johnson was overlooked, perhaps signalling the end of his international career with Hodgson preferring youngsters Calum Chambers and Nathaniel Clyne.England is top of Group E in qualifying for Euro 2016 after opening with three straight wins. Slovenia is second on six points.___England:Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City).Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling (both Manchester United).Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Stewart Downing (West Ham), Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana (both Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham), Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott (both Arsenal).Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Welbeck (Arsenal), Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion).Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '