The Columbus Blue Jackets fell to the New Jersey Devils 2-0 tonight. The good thing about this loss is it wasn’t a complete mess. The game was emotionally well rounded. There were incredible saves, good players and bad plays. There were even ugly moments I wish I could erase from my mind all together.
Since it’s preseason, I’ll do us all a favor and keep it semi brief. For those of you who are expecting the Ryan Real special, I apologize in advance. You will likely never see a 1,200 word recap come out of my finger tips.
Join me as I break tonight’s loss down by the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Jakob Lilja and Markus Nutivaara had quite the strong first period. Nutivaara’s trigger finger was hot during the first eight minutes of the game. Every time the puck landed on his stick, Nutivaara fired off a shot. He also did a great job of getting behind the net to clear pucks out of the defensive zone.
Other than committing a high stick penalty, Lilja had a fantastic first period. Especially when battling along the boards.
Seth Jones did not have the best first period. He had a few bad passes and even biffed it around the edges when going to gather the puck.
The Devils scored their first goal of the night around eight and a half minutes into the game. This goal wasn’t completely Jones’ fault. However, Jones could have cut back while Taylor Hall was dragging his stick from the top of the faceoff circle to the dot where the shot was launched from sailing directly past Jones.
On the flip side, Jones did help Joonas Korpisalo out in a big way when there was around 9:29 left in the first period. So, I guess we could say Jones played badish.
The Jackets power play might be the ugliest thing I have seen in a long time. For around four and a half minutes, the Jackets had the man advantage. Due to Devils inability to play a disciplined game, the Jackets ended up with a 5-on-3 twice. Yet, they couldn’t make anything happen.
The first period gets an extra special category courtesy of Korpisalo and his cat like reflexes.
Roll that beautiful goalie footage.
Yet again, Korpisalo was the saving grace of the period. Around the halfway mark of the period, Korpisalo made an epic lateral save denying Blake Coleman’s point blank shot.
With 4:35 left in the period, Korpisalo pulled out another stellar save. This time it was on Hall after Riley Nash turned over the puck below the offensive zone blue line. Hall sped down the ice with no one around thinking he’d be able to extend the Devils’ lead to 2-0. Korpisalo had other plans as he extended his left pad to the post to stuff Hall’s shot attempt.
Also, Vladislov Gavrikov had a nice second period. It seems as though he really enjoys leaning on the opposition along the boards until they cough up the puck. Although, Gavrikov needs to keep an eye on his stick. He can’t be waving it about all willy nilly when there is a race for the puck. Had he controlled the stick a highsticking penalty never would have happened.
With 5:48 left in the second period, Alexandre Texier picked up a rebound and shot it into the net. Unfortunately, thanks to Pierre-Luc Dubois, the goal was waved off for incidental contact. Granted, Damon Severson backed into Dubois as he was cutting through the crease causing contact with Schneider to happen.
I’m not going to let Dubois off easy on this one though. He’s been playing hockey long enough to know when you cut through the crease you also need to keep an eye on anyone else who is in or around the crease.
If Sonny Milano wants to play with the big boys, he needs to toughen up. Getting jostled along the boards is not a good look. Getting knocked off your skates behind the net while trying to grab a puck is also not a good look. Milano seemed to be easily rattled as well tonight.
The Milano from the AHL playoffs needs to make a come back soon or else he is going to drown at the NHL level.
In the last two minutes of the game, the Devils could not score on the Jackets’ empty net to save their life.
Even better, the Jackets had a few good looks on net in the final 30 seconds of the game. Corey Schneider was just too good tonight and stopped every single shot.
Travis Zajac extended the Devils’ lead to 2-0 with a power play goal 8:20 into the third period. Wayne Simmonds posted up shop on the left side of the net while Kyle Palmeri went around back to retrieve the puck. Palmeri saw Korpisalo move to cut off Simmonds’ scoring line and opted to send the puck Zajac’s way. From the slot, he was able to fire the puck into the net with ease.
There wasn’t really anything I would consider ugly in the third period. Which is a little victory in my mind.
Things of Note
At the start of the third period, the Jackets switched swapped Alexandre Texier for Nick Foligno on the first line. Could this be the new first line? We will find out with in the week.
#CBJ swapped left wings to start the third period. Foligno playing with Dubois and Atkinson; Texier out there with Jenner and Anderson.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) September 28, 2019
Also of note, Josh Anderson took a puck up high towards the end of the second period. He didn’t play during the final two minutes of the second but was back to start the third period. If Anderson is out to start the season, we can trace it back to tonight.