Columbus hosted Boston last night, concluding a season series that had seen Boston win the first two games in dominating fashion. Brad Marchand had been a Jacket killer this season, absolutely running roughshod over the team in both previous meetings. Containing him would be a key to a CBJ win.
Sergei Bobrovsky got the start, and the lines remained the same (why mess with success, after all). Let’s go for 13 straight!
Your CBJ starters tonight: Brandon Saad, Alex Wennberg, Nick Foligno, Zach Werenski, Seth Jones, Sergei Bobrovsky. The lines and the starting netminder, obviously, were not going to change after a break. Boston with a nice push to open the game, including a long shot that found its way through that Bobrosky was forced to kick to the side. Atkinson had Tuukka Rask beat at 1:45 but rang his shot off the post. An excellent opportunity for Columbus early.
Columbus looked to have scored with an effort from Scott Hartnell, but there were questions if the puck left the zone. The goal stood, however, as the puck never left the zone on the stick of Lukas Sedlak. Hartnell from Sedlak and Sam Gagner at 3:07. Dream start for Columbus. Following that up, we were treated to a big save for Bob! Brad Marchand broke behind Jack Johnson and David Savard and was absolutely stoned by the right pad of the #1 cop on the force at the 6:00 mark. Columbus looked sharp early. Shortly after, at 6:37 mark, Columbus would gt the first power play of the night. Brandon Carlo would go off for holding Brandon Dubinsky. Despite several excellent chances, the power play went by the wayside. Columbus maintained strong possession, and after a feed from Scott Hartnell below the net, Seth Jones buried a one timer at 8:48. Two points for Hartnell in the first ten minutes. And almost immediately, it goes to 3-0! Matt Calvert with an excellent hustle play to bury a goal behind Rask at 9:39.
Boston would answer though at the 11:04 mark. David Backes snuck to the middle of the ice and buried a shot behind Bobrovsky. It was a mental lapse by the Jackets. Boston followed that up with another goal as Czarnik narrowed it to 3-2. Boston, clearly up to speed, began to skate rings around Columbus. Boston's push continued and was aided by David Savard as he would go to the box for hooking at 14:28. The Jackets were able to kill the penalty, though. After some 4 on 4 hockey to close the period, the Jackets went into intermission with a 3-2 lead. Columbus had no shots on goal after the Calvert goal.
Columbus opened the second period with a push. They had several shots on goal, pressuring Rask. Unfortunately. Adam McQuaid also took a run at Zach Werenski sending him to the bench to get checked out. He would return for his next shift. Shortly after, Riley Nash took Ryan Murray to school, only to be denied by Bobrovsky. Murray has not had his best night, an all too common theme of late.
Lots of end to end action through the opening part of the seocnd that saw Sergei Bobrovsky make several stellar saves to keep the home team in the lead. Zach Werenski also hasn't had his best night.
Seth Jones has to be the smoothest skater on the team. He is just so fluid and so under control. It's a pleasure to watch.
Let's be honest: this period hasn't had much beyond "Boston pressure, Bobrovsky save." It's pretty poor from the Jackets since that opening rush.
Jackets go on the power play at 15:35, allowing for some reprieve for Bob. Torey Krug went off for intererence with Nick Foligno. Despite a couple good chances for the first unit, the Bruins were able to kill the penalty, allowing only one shot on goal. Shortly after, Boston tied it at 18:26. After a 4 on 3 rush, Spooner let a shot go and David Krejci followed the rebound and buried it. Tie game. Boston immediately nearly scored again as Riley Nash let a shot fly. Boston absolutely owned the last 5 minutes of the period.
There was just so much standing around from the Columbus forwards. Boston absolutely deserved all of the goals they scored, but Columbus certainly did themselves no favors. We were all knotted at three headed to the third period. Shake it off, boys. Shake shake, shake it off.
Columbus opened up the third pushing the pace hard. I’m not sure what Torts said at the second intermission, but I’m pretty sure the paint is probably peeling in the locker room as a result. Lukas Sedlak and David Savard both had great chances at the 5 minute mark, as they clearly looked to take the puck to Rask’s crease in the early part of the third. The Torts Line Blender also went to work, putting Anderson with Jenner and Dubinsky as Cam Atkinson went to a line with Calvert and Karlsson. Brad Marchand grabbed and nearly tackled Calvert with no call, and immediately after, Cam went to the box for tripping Krejci. Garbage call.
The Blue Jackets to their credit killed the penalty with aplomb. Following that, Nick Foligno tipped a shot juuuuuuuust wide. That was agonizingly close. The Jackets drew a penalty of their own (at a good time too, as Dubinsky had run down the hall to get new skates as his broke). Colin Miller would go for cross checking Karlsson at 10:20.
AND THE NUMBER ONE POWER PLAY CASHES IN. Nick Foligno restores the lead on a set play from below the net at 10:46 from Alex Wennberg and Zach Werenski. Zach Werenski officially sets the club record for points by a rookie defenseman with 22.
Columbus, as they seem to have done all season, took control in the third period. Torts wants them to be the best third period team in the league. They’ve looked the part tonight.
With 4:01 to go, Seth Jones went to the box for cross checking Austin Czarnik. Not a smart penalty there by Jones, he should have known better than to do that. Boston coach Claude Julien was less than pleased with Jones. The Jackets killed the power play, allowing no shots on goal.
With 1:46 to go, Rask was pulled. The Jackets held firm, forcing a clearance with 12 seconds to go. As time wound down, Columbus would hold on for their thirteenth straight win and Bob’s first ever win over the Bruins. Hot damn, y’all.
Columbus Blue Jackets 4 Boston Bruins 3
There were an obscene number of turnovers, poor neutral zone play, and lots of standing around. Columbus, in short, did not play their game tonight. I am sure Torts will get it turned around, but this was not Blue Jackets Hockey tonight.
Sergei Bobrovsky is amazing. I know he has been all season, but it just bears repeating. When he’s on like he has been this season, he’s in the top tier of goaltenders in the entire league.
The penalty kill looked good all three times times it was called upon tonight. That was nice to see. Brandon Dubinsky killed the end of the Seth Jones penalty almost singlehandedly. It won’t show up in the stat sheet, but we don’t win without it.
The first power play unit is so good. They are organized, disciplined, and come up with huge goals when we need them most. They deserve all of the accolades heaped on them.
Seth Jones quietly does everything you could ever want from a hockey player. It’s wonderful to see him play every night.
As mentioned, Zach Werenski officially sets the club record for points by a rookie defenseman with 22. Pretty damn awesome that he did it less than halfway through the season. We’ve got a good one here, folks.
That’ll do it for the home games in 2016. On to Winnipeg on Thursday. Go get #14. One more point for the month will make this, officially, the best month by points earned in franchise history (this game broke the wins mark in a single month).
We’ve been waiting for this for 16 years. Enjoy the ride, friends.
Go Jackets. Are we good yet?