(Sorry for the picture, no photos up yet - except I’m not THAT sorry about the picture if you get my drift.)
Good teams need to beat the bad teams.
The Blue Jackets are finally getting that message.
Going into Joe Louis Arena is never supposed to be easy. With Nick Foligno out due to illness, the challenge was that much higher, and the Red Wings took it to the Blue Jackets early.
Despite being outshot and taking an early penalty, the Jackets never backed down. Cam Atkinson would open the scoring shorthanded on that first PK, working an odd man rush with Brandon Dubinsky perfectly, letting Dubi draw off the D as he went to the net and firing a blast past Peter Mrazek for the 1-0 lead.
Detroit’s Dylan Larkin would tie the game on the power play early in the second period, but despite getting badly outshot, the Blue Jackets stuck to their game plan and put their faith in Sergei Bobrovsky, and were rewarded with a bit of puck luck.
Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner went in, chasing the puck while Mrazek took the puck into the corner and dropped on it before realizing he had to get rid of the puck before taking a delay of game penalty. David Savard had a nice play to keep the puck in, and Brandon Dubinsky was there to cash in the rebound for the 2-1 lead.
He wasn’t the only player to get a little something tonight - after so many frustrating near-misses, Lukas Sedlak has his first NHL goal, the reward for constant hustle on the fourth line along with Gagner and Anderson tonight, picking up the loose puck in the paint and sweeping it home for the 3-1 lead, and the end of Mrazek’s night.
Jimmy Howard stemmed the bleeding for the Wings, but they weren’t able to put anything else past Bobrovsky, and with Howard on the bench, the Jackets did a good job of trying to keep the Wings tied up and away from the net until finally Sam Gagner was able to clear the puck down and into the empty net to hammer down the final nail in the coffin in the dying seconds of the third period.
The win marks 7 straight games with at least a point.
The win puts the Jackets 1 point behind the Penguins for the Metro division lead with two games in hand.
The win puts the Jackets 3 points behind Montreal for the best record in the NHL.
There are five teams in the entire league with a better record at this point, and Columbus has games in hand on all of them.
What else do we need to say?