Welcome back, Blue Jackets fans! After the All Star Break, Columbus hit the road for their annual Western Canada road trip. Up first on the agenda: the 29th place Edmonton Oilers, or the "Battle at the Bottom of the Barrel." Coach John Tortorella returned to the team tonight, after he spent his time off mapping out the entirety of the 2016 Training Camp schedule. In team news, Cody Goloubef remained a healthy scratch on the blue line, for reasons unclear to most anyone. Jared Boll was also a scratch for the Jackets tonight. David Savard resumed skating today, though he is still not close to returning per Torts. Connor McDavid made his return to the Oilers tonight for the first time since Game 13. To the highlights!
FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Your CBJ starters: Joonas Korpisalo, Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray, Seth Jones
Oilers power play. Connor McDavid rushed hard at Ryan Murray, who then tripped McDavid at 0:26. Early kill for the Jackets.
Gregory Campbell blocked a shot from Andrej Sekera on the penalty kill and was in obvious difficulty on the ice.
The Blue Jackets killed the penalty, allowing 5 shots on net.
Edmonton had all the momentum early, generating 7 shots on net in the first 4 minutes.
Through 5 minutes, Edmonton had 8 shots on goal. Columbus had 0. This start could not have possibly been more dismal.
A SHOT ON GOAL. Fedor Tyutin got the first shot on net at 5:58.
Not much happened in the middle part of the period.- end to end action, with no shots on goal.
SAVE! Korpisalo stoned Jordan Eberle at 9:45.
SAVE Korpisalo made the save on Darnell Nurse after McDavid led a rush up the ice.
BLUE JACKETS GOAL! Matt Calvert beat Cam Talbot at 11:37 on a 2 on 1. Assist to Scott Hartnell.
Despite being outshot 15-2 at the 12:00 mark, Columbus led this game. Somehow.
Columbus looked like they were rusty- there was very little line chemistry. Karlsson and Calvert struggled to communicate.
Coincidental minors at 15:15. Nick Foligno went off for roughing, Griffin Reinhart off for roughing.
Blue Jackets on the power play!! Matt Hendricks went off for interfering with Tyutin at 17:51.
The Oilers killed the penalty.
At the end of one period, Columbus led 1-0, despite being outshot 18-8.
SECOND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Ryan Murray and Seth Jones are a combined +12 in the last 7 games. Just throwing that out there.
Columbus led an extended shift in the Oilers zone to start the second period, but they did not generate a shot on net.
Oilers goal. That was deserved. Eric Gryba let a shot go that surprised Korpisalo, tying the game at one. Assists Zack Kassian and Mark Letestu at 3:02.
Chance! Cam Talbot denied Cam Atkinson at 3:40.
Blue Jackets on the power play! Griffin Reinhart went off for interference at 6:22.
After a save on Mark Letestu shorthanded, Joonas Korpisalo was absolutely trucked by Matt Hendricks.
Edmonton killed the penalty.
Oilers goal. Connor McDavid walked in and beat Korpisalo after annihilating the Blue Jackets pairing of Jack Johnson and Justin Falk. Assists to Jordan Eberle and Bouliot at 9:57.
Edmonton had clearly taken control through the middle part of the period.
CHANCE! Talbot denied Campbell at 13:30.
The Oilers are fast. Columbus just doesn’t have anyone that can skate with these guys. It’s like they’re on a totally different level.
Oilers power play. Seth Jones went off for interference at 15:37.
Murray and Dalton Prout out together on the penalty kill. What a time to be alive.
Oilers goal. On a shot from the point, with a lot of traffic in front of the net, Benoit Pouliot deflected a shot into the net. Assists to Andrej Sekera and Connor McDavid at 16:37.
Oilers goal. Leon Draisaitl after a Jack Johnson turnover, featuring Justin Falk checking his own goalie. Assist to Taylor Hall at 17:01.
Despite Edmonton’s EIGHTEEN GIVEAWAYS, they led this game 4-1.
The period ended with Columbus trailing 4-1, and getting outshot 28-21.
What a joke of a period, especially from the bottom two pairs on the defensive line. Prout, Justin Falk, Fedor Tyutin, Jack Jonson- all were awful.
Alexander Wennberg has been invisible tonight. So has Atkinson.
The only way this period could have been worse is if Edmonton had won the Draft Lottery at intermission.
THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
What was Nick Foligno doing there? Despite having a clean look into the offensive zone, he threw a backhand pass, leading to an offside. Completely unnecessary play from the captain.
Save by Talbot! Foligno had him beat and was denied at 3:45. Amazing what happens when you take the puck to the net. Take notes, Jackets.
Blue Jackets on the power play! Adam Clendening went off for interference at 3:47.
Foligno hit the post at 5:19.
McDavid denied at 6:15 on a breakaway after McDavid beat Seth Jones.
22 giveaways for the Oilers at the 7:30 mark of the third period. Columbus has one goal. Great.
Columbus has a lot of slow skaters, that’s for sure.
Fight! Justin Falk and Taylor Hall were displeased, and Eric Gryba stepped in at 12:08.
Hall, Gryba, and Falk all went off for roughing at 12:08, leading to a Jackets power play.
Edmonton killed the penalty, and as they did, Cam Atkinson went off for tripping at 14:07.
Oilers goal. After an initial save, Jordan Eberle put the puck in the net at 14:32. Assists to Andrej Sekera and Connor McDavid.
Jackets power play. Adam Clendening went off for hooking at 17:08.
Jack Johnson hit the crossbar at 18:15.
Edmonton killed the penalty.
FINAL: Edmonton Oilers 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 1
*** Matt Calvert
** Cam Talbot
* Connor McDavid
Korprisalo is the only semi-positive to write home about, and even he had a lot of shaky moments. This was a bad night.
Everyone else was terrible. This was an absolute atrocity, particularly in the second period. The defense got turned into traffic cones and turnstiles. It was an embarrassing performance coming off of the All Star Break.
Wennberg, Scott Hartnell, Brandon Saad- invisible tonight. Cam Atkinson only showed up in the penalty box.
The special teams were horrific too, while we’re at it. 0-5 on the power play in unacceptable.
#MatthewsWatch We’re in the pole position, but let’s be real- Edmonton will win that, too. Because the Hockey Gods hate this franchise.
Columbus takes the ice again Thursday night against the Vancouver Canucks. Faceoff is at 10:00 EST. Make sure you make some coffee, it’s going to be a late night!