The Columbus Blue Jackets, fresh off defeating the presumed #2 team in the division, would face the team most picked to finish atop the Metro: the Carolina Hurricanes. Both teams are hot, as the Jacket’s 3-1 record entering tonight is matched by the Hurricanes’ perfect 3-0 count. Something has to give. No changes in lineup from Thursday aside from Joonas Korpisalo starting over Elvis Merzlikins.
Jersey matchup review: The Blue Jackets broke out their fantastic alternates for the first time this season to face off against Carolina’s simple, classically-inspired road set. A nice blue vs red matchup, though the vintage white of the cannon jerseys clashes with the white-heavy “Canes”. Speaking of which, I’m never a fan of nicknames on jerseys, and the visitors border on being too simplistic. Plus, both teams were sporting disgustingly massive helmet ads, which Bally Sports disgustingly made sure viewers were aware of. We’ll give it 7/10.
The Jackets would start off strong, as Gus Nyquist would be gifted the puck feet in front of Carolina goalie Frederick Andersen. A no-look, behind-the-back pass to Oliver Bjorkstrand would get poked away. Shortly after, Patrick Laine would benefit from a Tony DeAngelo turnover for a clean mini-breakaway; stopped by Andersen.
Speaking of DeAngelo, Jody would feature the player during a stoppage and mentioned that he was “sent home” by the Rangers shortly into last season after he fought a teammate and his blatant racism came to light, but failed to mention the reasoning. An interesting and mildly disappointing decision there.
Back to the game! The aforementioned turnover would kickstart several minutes of back-and-forth hockey, culminating in a goal! Unfortunately, it was the bad guys who put the puck in the net, as Jesper Fast buried a net-front feed past Korpisalo.
HURRICANES GOAL - Jesper Fast from Jordan Staal - 7:11 1st Period, 1-0 Hurricanes
*Insert Jesper Fast pun here* pic.twitter.com/oliFzQpn43— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 23, 2021
After the goal, the teams would continue to trade opportunities. DeAngelo would barely miss a cross-ice feed that would’ve made a golden opportunity around the midpoint, and Andersen would barely deflect a Cole Sillinger bomb from the high slot shortly after. Andrei Svechnikov would knock a puck into the net at 12:23, but it would quickly be waived off due to a high stick that wasn’t particularly close to being legal. Korpi would make a fantastic save on Brady Skjei 30 seconds later.
The Blue Jackets would face a 4-minute penalty kill as Vladislav Gavrikov would draw blood on a high-sticking infraction. A few seconds in, that was reduced to a 2-minute kill as a Svechnikov point shot was redirected in by Vincent Trochek’s arm.
HURRICANES POWERPLAY GOAL - Vincent Trochek from Andrei Svechnikov and Tony DeAngelo - 13:35 1st, 2-0 Hurricanes
Pucks on net - very cliche, very effective pic.twitter.com/oOW1IlmwEw— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 23, 2021
The Hurricanes would control their other power play, but nothing got past Korpisalo. They’d continue to control the last five minutes, but would go into the locker room with only a pair. 2-0 Canes after 20, with the Jackets trailing the shot battle 6-14.
The second would start similarly to the first, with both teams trading opportunities and zone time. The Hurricanes would start by spending a significant chunk in the CBJ end of the ice, followed by the Jackets’ line of Laine-Jenner-Voracek flipping the momentum for the home squad. Feeling the pressure, Hurricanes defensemen DeAngelo and Pesce would earn a pair of penalties 23 seconds apart, giving Columbus a golden 5-on-3 opportunity they’d capitalize on. Boone Jenner would shovel in a net-front rebound to cut the Hurricanes lead in half, though nothing would come of the second powerplay.
BLUE JACKETS 5-ON-3 POWERPLAY GOAL - Boone Jenner from Jakub Voracek and Patrik Laine - 7:19 2nd, 2-1 Hurricanes
Captain Clutch pic.twitter.com/4okso1JoXP— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) October 24, 2021
The Blue Jackets would continue their momentum for the next several minutes, until Andrew Peeke was sent to the box of shame for a pair. In part thanks to an excellent save from Korpisalo, the Canes would be held scoreless. However, a few minutes later, they’d be forced to run it back when Voracek got nabbed for a hooking minor. This time, Columbus would only kill 112 out of 120 seconds, as a pinballing puck would find it’s way past Korpisalo and into the net.
HURRICANES POWERPLAY GOAL - Jordan Staal from Brent Pesce and Jasperi Kotkaniemi - 15:57 2nd Period, 3-1 Hurricanes
Work work work work work work pic.twitter.com/wT0RuKZaYT— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 24, 2021
Columbus would continue to control 5-on-5 play, spending a good chunk of time in the offensive zone and creating opportunities, including a good chance for Yegor Chinakhov to get his first NHL goal. However, the home team would end the second period similarly to the first: down a pair of goals and losing the shot battle 19-24. No real standout moments in this frame, but Korpisalo did what he could to keep Columbus in the contest. Avoiding the penalty box would be key in the third.
Carolina came out flying to start the third, and the Jackets wouldn’t help themselves much. The Hurricanes got several key turnovers, all turned away by Korpisalo. Despite the final score, he was really solid tonight. The Blue Jackets wouldn’t be held without opportunities, however, as Bjorkstrand had several chances denied by Andersen, including a prime shorthanded chance. If there were shorthanded chances, that means there was a Carolina power play. Those shorthanded chances, with Kuraly, Bjorkstrand, and Texier getting in on the action, were answered by a Sebatian Aho goal.
HURRICANES POWERPLAY GOAL - Sebatian Aho from Vincent Trocheck and Teuvo Teravainen - 7:05 3rd, 4-1 Hurricanes
October 24, 2021
Despite being down three, the Blue Jackets would yet again continue to control play at 5-on-5. Bjorkstrand and Gavrikov each got a chance, the latter resulting in a power play for the CBJ. Despite some good pressure, no dice. A pair of back-to-back Carolina icings would precede another chance on the power play, with less pressure and as many goals. Undeterred, the Blue Jackets would continue to swarm for a goal. That was until they were deterred. Jaccob Slavin lobbed up a breakout pass to Svechnikov, who then slid the puck over to Trocheck for his second of the night.
HURRICANES GOAL - Vincent Trocheck from Andrei Svechnikov and Jaccob Slavin - 16:13 3rd, 5-1 Hurricanes
This just wasn't fair pic.twitter.com/0ecM1GJlEB— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 24, 2021
That notably deflated the Blue Jackets, who didn’t put up to much of a fight from that point. The Hurricanes would control the rest of the game, have a minute and a half at the end on the power play, and leave NWA with a 5-1 win.
Despite the final score, I honestly didn’t think we were THAT outmatched, at least at even strength. That much is encouraging. What was not encouraging was the penalty kill: three goals against is unacceptable. Carolina dominated that battle, and thus dominated the game. Let me know your thoughts. Next game is Monday against Dallas. See ya then.