Exciting, fast paced period, with 9 scoring chances for Columbus and 7 for Toronto. Neither team could find the back of the net, however, as both Sergei Bobrovsky and Frederik Andersen looked sharp.
More of the same for the first ten minutes, then the wheels fell of for the Blue Jackets. A Roman Polak long range shot deflected off the glove of Oliver BJORKSTRAND and the stick of James van Riemsdyk.
A great long shift for the PB&J line turned to disaster when they got caught on the wrong end of a breakaway. A gassed Josh Anderson took a penalty, and Toronto converted with a William Nylander goal. It was a long one, but through traffic and Bob never saw it.
The Jackets were out of gas, and shorthanded with the loss of Sonny Milano following a hard open ice hit late in the second. It was a fairly lifeless period and I assumed it would go in the books as a hard fought loss but a loss nonetheless. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get worse than 2-0, right?
With just under 5 minutes remaining, Jordan Schroeder fired from the right point. Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno were throwing their weight around in front of the net (AS THEY SHOULD). Schroeder’s shot hit a body, bounced up in the air, then came down behind Andersen into the net.
Well at least we won’t get shutout BUT WAIT:
Less than two minutes later, Seth Jones intercepted an outlet pass at center ice and drove it deep into the zone. Near the net he flipped it back to Pierre-Luc Dubois in the slot, and your new Calder Trophy favorite (just kidding, OR AM I?) tied up the game.
The bench was just a little excited:
After all that, the Jackets had found a way to steal a point. I had to scrap my recap titled “Not Enough.” What would the new title be after overtime?
OT was the kind of fast-paced back-and-forth affair you’d expect between these two teams. After a Toronto chance missed, Artemi Panarin recovered the rebound and raced down ice. As he entered the offensive zone, he saw Zach Werenski come on the ice and fed him the puck. Werenski passed back across the crease around Andersen, and Panarin was there to finish. The goal was reviewed, as the puck had gone off Panarin’s skate, but replay confirmed there was no kicking motion, and the puck hit Bread’s stick last.
I cannot believe we won this game. This is the kind of game we could pull off last season, but haven’t seen enough of this season.
I was skeptical of Bob starting today (more on that Tuesday at noon), but he played very well.
Frederik Andersen played very well also.
On a sour note, we need to talk about the Penalty Kill. In November, there was an 8 game stretch without allowing a power play goal. In the 21 games since then, the Blue Jackets have allowed 15 power play goals, including goals in 10 of the last 18 games. Is it systemic or is simply a matter of missing Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson, and Alexander Wennberg (three of the most reliable PK forwards)?