In what is quickly becoming a positive trend, the Jackets outworked (as promised) their opponent nearly from start to finish. With the exception of two minutes of sloppy play to start the third period, resulting in a goal against, the Jackets were excellent in taking the Vancouver Canucks to overtime. Matt Calvert was the hero for Columbus, potting the winner to give the Jackets their third straight win.
First Period Notes:
- To nobody's surprise, the Jackets gave the start to Sergei Bobrovsky. Cory Schneider got the start in the Vancouver cage.
- The Jackets took the ice in their third sweaters. Sure, there's some bias, but I absolutely love the Columbus thirds. Outside of the green Minnesota third, it's easily my favourite sweater. I'd love to see the Jackets adopt the third as their full-time home and develop an away equivalent using the vintage white as a base.
Nikita Nikitin returned tonight, after missing the game against Edmonton. Nikki is in the midst of a tough season, but I've seen improvement in the few games prior to getting hurt. He remains a threat to score with his bomb from the point- I'd just like to see him use it more.
- Early in the period, the Jackets' injury bug crawled out of its hole and reared its ugly head. Derek Dorsett carried the puck toward the Vancouver net on his backhand at high speed. As he moved to bring the puck to his forehand, he was rocked by Andrew Alberts. Dorse got up gingerly and made his way to the locker room with his arm hanging. What will it take for this team to finish a game unscathed?
- The Jackets struck first off the stick of R.J. Umberger. Nick Foligno did all of the work though, carrying the puck behind the net, pulling off a wrap-around. The puck beat Schneider, but slid cross-crease and went off the far post. Umby was there to pot the loose puck in the net.
- Score after the first: 1-0 Columbus.
Second Period Notes:
- The second period didn't feature many noteworthy moments, but one thing was evident- the Jackets outworked the Canucks for the full twenty minutes. It was an ugly, grinding period of hockey, but the Jackets dictated the pace.
- The line of Umberger, Foligno and Ryan Johansen was the Jackets' most dangerous, again. The line is developing some chemistry and as a trio are working their holes off. As soon as they can break out offensively as a unit, look out man.
- Outside of a d'oh moment late in the period when he whiffed on a pass in front of Bob, forcing Bob to bail him out, Dalton Prout looked quite good. He was laying out hits, and was jumping in on the play. As he gets more and more comfortable, he'll be a contributor at the NHL level.
- Score after the second: 1-0 Columbus.
Third Period Notes:
- The Canucks wasted no time tieing the game, after Henrik Sedin was able to beat Bob just 1:05 in. After a sequence of scrambly play to start the period, Henrik was the beneficiary of a lucky loose puck.
- Every time he was on the ice, Matt Calvert seemed to have the puck on his stick down low, constantly buzzing the net. His energy is limitless, and he is showing more and more of the offensive talent he showcased in the WHL.
- Midway through the period, the Jackets took their first and only penalty of the night. Fedor Tyutin was whistled for holding, but the Jackets were able to kill it off. This makes eight games in a row where the Jackets have not given up a powerplay goal. The PK is hands-down the Jackets' best element so far this season.
- Later in the period, the Jackets went on back-to-back powerplays, but were unable to score. This is where the much talked about lack of finishing comes into play. The Jackets were able to get in the offensive zone, but were unable to make things happen. As always, the effort is there, but its not enough.
- The Jackets came close to blowing it on one of the powerplays, when Jack Johnson attempted a D-to-D pass, but the puck was intercepted by Jannik Hansen. Hansen streaked in on Bobrovsky on a wide-open breakaway, but Bob stood tall. He's been terrific these past few games. He's clearly pulling away from Steve Mason as the Jackets' number one goalie.
- Score after regulation: 1-1.
- The overtime period was one of the more exciting stretches of hockey for the Jackets this season. It featured end-to-end chances for both teams, with the goaltenders standing on their heads.
- The deadlock was broken when Calvert gathered the puck on the right wing, squeezed his way along the boards before cutting towards the slot. He waited for a half-second, enough for a hole to form and to freeze Schneider, before firing a wrister into the net. I can't think of a more deserving player to be the hero.
Final Score: 2-1 Jackets in OT
1) Matt Calvert was on this list before scoring the game winner. He was making things happen all night, and his game-winning goal was a thing of beauty.
2) The Umberger-Johansen-Foligno line was very good again tonight.
3) Sergei Bobrovsky, everybody.
Bottom of the Barrel:
1) The Jackets had a player leave the game again tonight. This time it was Derek Dorsett, with an upper body injury.
2) If Ryan Kesler was in the Vancouver lineup, he'd be here, because he's Ryan Kesler.
3) The CBJ powerplay stunk again, but whatever, because CALVERT.
The Jackets next game is on Saturday, the first of a home-and-home with the Red Wings.