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Cannon Blasts: Max Domi is finding his game, finally

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That and more of this week’s links

Florida Panthers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Of the many Blue Jackets to struggle in the first two months of the season, none was more disappointing than Max Domi. Domi was acquired because of his ability (and desire) to play center, but had been shifted to wing to get his game going, and then stuck with bottom 6 minutes as his production failed to materialize. To add insult to injury, the player he was traded for, Josh Anderson, got off to a hot start with nine goals in his first 13 games for Montreal.

Fortunately, Domi appears to have found his game in recent weeks, and has found a home on a top line with Jack Roslovic and Cam Atkinson. Here are some stats showing his improvement in the games since the Jackets snapped a seven game losing streak (these stats do not include Monday night’s game against Carolina).

Domi Stats 2021

Games Team record G A P ATOI 5v5 iCF 5v5 ixGF
Games Team record G A P ATOI 5v5 iCF 5v5 ixGF
First 23 games 8-10-5 3 4 7 14:58 32 1.4
Last 9 games 5-2-2 2 3 5 14:40 27 1.47

He’s shooting the puck more, and the quality of his chances has gone up as well. In addition, his on-ice numbers (FF% and xGF%) have been above 50% in six of these last nine games. Pretty nice!

Meanwhile, Josh Anderson has just two goals in his last 15 games.

Bottom line: It’s great to see Max Domi finally get comfortable here, and that renewed confidence can be infectious as this team makes a push for the playoffs. Now we just need Patrik Laine to follow suit.

The week that was

Seth Jones scored twice and Joonas Korpisalo made huge saves as the Jackets won in Carolina on Thursday.

They followed that up with a late tying goal from Jones on Saturday, leading to a shootout victory. This win moved the Jackets up to fourth place in the Central, a playoff position.

Last night was, uh, not so good.

Mikhail Grigorenko had quite a week:

Placed on waivers on Tuesday
Cleared waivers on Wednesday
Assigned to the taxi squad
Reactivated on Thursday and placed back in the lineup, only to get sick right before the game
Re-assigned to taxi squad on Sunday
Re-activated to active roster on Monday, but did not play

Not sure what exactly the plan is here. I do think Grigorenko has deserved more of a shot than he has received, though I wouldn’t place him on either of the top two lines at this point (currently held by Laine/Stenlund/BJORKSTRAND and Domi/Roslovic/Atkinson).

The Cannon Cast discussed the future of the goaltending position in Columbus.

Rachel created some job postings for a new head coach, power play coach, and top line center.

In our next entry in the Jackets20 series, which looks at twenty of the most impactful players in franchise history, MrSwift talked about what Nick Foligno has meant to this team and this community.

Congrats to Wisconsin on winning the NCAA women’s hockey championship. Daryl Watts intentionally banked a shot off a defender for the overtime winner. Incredible shot.

On Deck

Thursday: vs. Carolina
Saturday and Sunday: at Detroit

Can the Jackets finish this four game series with Carolina with a home win? Six points in four games would be a great outcome.

The weekend features two afternoon games in Detroit. Can the Jackets avoid playing down to their opponent? Two regulation wins would be big to stay ahead of Chicago and Dallas.

Play me out

I am so happy for March Madness to be back. The first weekend is possibly the best event in sports, with non-stop basketball from noon to midnight. I love the high stakes of a single elimination tournament, and seeing small schools pull off upsets over big ones. Well, not so much when it’s Ohio State losing, but Ohio upsetting defending champion Virginia was cool.

(I think this song is overrated but I will fight anyone who thinks there’s a better version than the Luther Vandross one)