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Preseason Game #1 Recap: Prospects shine as the Jackets beat Buffalo 4-1

There’s no lack of competition for spots on the roster

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

So I joined The Cannon in July, which makes this the first game recap I’ve ever written here. PD gave me a few pointers beforehand, notably “each of us has our own voice,” and “feel free to get creative with the recaps.”

With that being said, welcome to my stream-of-consciousness recap of Preseason Game #1, perforated by some relevant tweets I see as I scan Twitter during the unnecessary TV time-outs that are still happening for some reason.


  • Warm-up playlist is hype; whoever curates these should get a raise.
  • Starters: Dean Kukan, Seth Jones, Sonny Milano, Emil Bemstrom, Riley Nash, Joonas Korpisalo.
  • The pump-up intro video is awesome, considering the added difficulty of having to obfuscate all footage of the players who left the team since last season.
  • Joonas’ face looks identical to Bob’s when he has his mask on, which is weird. Does anyone else see that, or do I just have Bob on the brain?
  • Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and me almost falling out of my chair in the press box when the cannon blasts.

First period:

  • Bemstrom nails in a goal 52 seconds into the first period on a PP, assisted by Seth Jones and Alexandre Texier.
  • Worth noting: Werenski and Jones are both playing, but not together.
  • More on lines from Brian:
  • The Jumbotron played a highlight reel of Werenski moments and then panned to him watching and I think he... smiled?? I think it was his first public display of emotion ever, and it was glorious. If you blinked, you missed it.

End of first period notable items:

  1. Seth Jones is good at hockey.
  2. 1-0 Jackets, with 13 shots by the Jackets and 7 by the Sabres.
  3. In case you forgot or somehow missed my earlier note, Seth Jones is good at hockey.

Second period:

  • The in-game music features a lot more women than I remember hearing at past games — Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Whitney Houston — yessssss ladies! See my aforementioned note on giving the playlist curator a raise.
  • God dammit, they played the pizza song. Going to look into the legality and feasibility of getting a restraining order from a song on the grounds that it makes my eardrums bleed.
  • Sherwood laid out Sabres’ D Casey Fitzgerald in a huge, clean hit. Ouch.
  • Halfway through the game, Matiss Kivlenieks replaces Korpi, who was looking solid with 13 saves, not all of them easy.
  • Sabres’ Jake McCabe blasts a shot through a crowd and sneaks the puck behind Kivlenieks, tying things up 1-1.
  • Columbus local Sherwood scores his first goal in Nationwide Arena — pretty sure I said he was going to have a breakout season this year in an article a few weeks back, and Brian agrees with me, so I’m feeling good about that. Score’s 2-1 now.

End of second period notable items:

Well, Jeff pretty much sums it up here...

Third period:

  • Yay, time for the Oliver Bjorkstrand highlight reel — Svoboda made the astute observation that “if you drew someone who looked like he was named Oliver Bjorkstrand, you’d end up with an exact picture of Oliver Bjorkstrand.”
  • Matiss Kivlenieks makes some important saves on a Buffalo power play as Sam Vigneault serves a penalty.
  • Sonny Milano scores with 5:45 left in the third — that’s a step in the right direction. Also he got a haircut, looks nice.
  • Da, da da da da da, CHILI!! This is great, all 17 spectators who attended the game can get free chili tomorrow.
  • Zac Dalpe with an empty-netter at 1:26 remaining — ends the preseason opener 4-1, Jackets.

End of game takeaways:

It was a good showing by a mix of young guys who are all vying for a spot on the roster — their efforts to impress were aided by a lackluster performance on the Sabres’ behalf. Both goalies looked good and made some impressive saves.

The guys have tomorrow off before playing the P**guins in Pittsburgh on Thursday.