Recap: Better Safe Than Sorry
The Blue Jackets fell last night to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2, but it was a bit closer than the final score would indicate. And, at the same time, the final score was just right.
Columbus scored twice in the opening nine minutes of the second period last night to knot the game even at 2-2 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Toronto got a goal from William Nylander to give the Leafs a 3-2 advantage and Toronto added a pair in the third period to defeat the jackets 5-2.
Toronto netted an empty net goal for its fifth goal of the game, making this next point a bit moot, but John Tortorella challenged the goal from Nazem Kadri (which made it a 4-2 game at the time) because he thought the play was offsides and, from my tinted glasses, the replays made it seem as if Torts had the right idea, but ultimately the decision room decided otherwise and the score remained.
David Savard opened the Jackets scoring in the second with a beautiful behind-the-net feed from Brandon Dubisnky for a one-timer from the left face-off circle to pull the Jackets within 2-1.
Zack Werenski did his thing again, riffling a puck from the blueline that Brandon Saad tipped in from right in front to tie the game at 2-2.
But, once the Jackets fell behind, nothing seemed to go right, outside of finally getting a penalty called against Toronto, who had sent several Jackets to the ice in questionable ways - Nick Foligno took a hard hit into the boards (which, admittedly, was more of his own doing) and Seth Jones was cross-checked into the boards but didn't receive a call.
Oliver Bjorkstrand took a hard hit along the boards and was motionless on the ice for several moments before getting up on his own power and walking down the tunnel, and even though Roman Polak served a game misconduct and was ejected from the game, Torts was none. too. happy. (And, make no mistake, rightly so.)
John Tortorella let Tim Peel have it after Roman Polak boarded Oliver Bjorkstrand out of the game. pic.twitter.com/cXIJYyWdSF— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 23, 2017
Jonas Korpisalo got the nod between the pipes (presumably to save Bob for tonight against Washington) and didn't look as sharp as we've seen in the past, but also didn't let an early 2-0 deficit rattle him. In all, Korpi made 27 saves on 31 attempts, allowing a pretty beautiful top-of-the-cage shot by Leo Komarov in and getting beat by Auston Matthews on a rebound on a Toronto power play (that, if anything, should have been a 4-on-4, as it was the play after the crosscheck on Jones).
Once the Jackets trailed in the second - and as the game got further along in the third - the crispness wasn't there. It was as if there was vaseline on the stick, the puck was going everywhere and not many chances were generated.
It sucks to say, but over the course of an 82 game season, some nights just aren't gonna be your night. That was the case last night.