Some quick observations, which I collected from Section 107:
- It was Military Appreciation Night at Nationwide Arena. It was great to see so many veterans and active service military and their families in attendance. The team wore special camo pattern jerseys during warmups, which were then auctioned off. The game puck was delivered by troops dropping down ropes from the rafters. An Army Reserve band played the Star Spangled Banner, and were entertaining folks in the concourse during our second intermission meet-up.
- Joonas Korpisalo made his fourth start in the last five games. Unfortunately he could not earn his fifth straight win. Officially, he saved 22 of 25 shots faced. That doesn’t tell the whole story. The second goal was one he could have stopped, but the first one was a defensive breakdown. The third goal really shouldn’t count against him, because he was heading back to the bench for an extra skater when his teammates coughed up the puck.
- Tomas Tatar had himself a game. His two goals were well-earned, with the second one being especially pretty. As I said, Korpi could have stopped it, but it was a great deke.
- Not a good night for Markus Nutivaara. I still love him, but he was burned by both Tatar goals. On the first goal, he got caught joining Ryan Murray in marking Artturi Lehkonen, which allowed Tatar to sneak to the back side of the goal unmarked to score off a rebound from Shea Weber’s shot.
- The one bright spot for the Jackets was a third period goal from my boy BJORKSTRAND:
BJORKSTRAND breaks up the shutout and cuts the Habs lead in half! pic.twitter.com/bzMzab5INV— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) January 19, 2019
- Alexander Wennberg shot the puck! Multiple times! They weren’t good shots, but hey, they’re baby steps.
- Kevin Stenlund is a large. You’re struck by this seeing him on the ice in person. He’s still very green but I’m excited to see what kind of player he develops into.
- Speaking of large boys: Pierre-Luc Dubois. He had some great plays where he made full use of his size and strength. There is one play in particular that may have looked less impressive on TV because it happened along the bottom boards, but I saw it clearly. He was challenged at the wall halfway into the offensive zone, but managed to absorb the hit like it was nothing, spin around, and fire a pinpoint pass across the zone to Artemi Panarin.
- Per Corsica.Hockey, the expected score of this game was 2.93-1.98 in favor of Columbus. I feel like that matches what I saw. Columbus looked like the better team. They generally controlled the pace of play and got more high danger chances. They just couldn’t convert them like Montreal did. And after the goal to go up 2-0 halfway through the game, nothing about their energy level suggested a comeback was in order.
- The Islanders are now in first place in the Metro, one game ahead of Columbus and Washington. WTF??
- We’re back at it again tonight at 9 in Minnesota. Hopefully everyone stays safe and warm through the storm today and enjoys the game tonight. Let’s enter the break on a better note.