Quick Thoughts: Blue Jackets 3, Blues 1
The Blue Jackets find themselves with an winning streak after gutting out a 3-1 win over St. Louis.
- Not a ton of notable action until St. Louis found the scoreboard 7:36 into the game. The Blues worked their way to a loose puck deep in the zone and Kevin Shattenkirk slapped one past Sergei Bobrovsky. Hey, remember a few days ago when John Tortorella wanted to bench Ryan Murray? Check out No. 27 here, who Jori Lehtera bullies into losing possession right in front of his goalie for the score. Murray also accomplishes the ignominious feat of high-sticking Lehtera on the play, giving St. Louis an immediate power play. Not his finest moment:
- St. Louis is 7-0-0 when scoring first this season, so let’s see how that goes.
- Lehtera drew some attention a few minutes later when Brandon Saad’s stick cracked him in the face for an injury stoppage. No call, though, as Lehtera may have been on his way down.
- GOAL! Columbus generated some shots, especially off the rush, and finally struck on a wrister from Cody Goloubef on an odd-man situation. The defenseman went high and the puck shot up off Brian Elliott’s glove, falling back down to the ice and squeaking past the line for a 1-1 game with 3:21 remaining. Goloubef’s first goal of the year. Rychel and Campbell get assists, the first of the season for Rychel.
- Columbus earned a power play when former Jacket Scott Upshall sat with 1:36 to go. Columbus hung around the St. Louis zone with no goals before the horn. 1-1 at the break following an evenly played first period.
- Word during intermission is that Lehtera isn’t coming back. Tough blow for St. Louis.
- The CBJ don’t score on the leftover PP but get another one a few minutes later No score on the man advantage…
- GOAL! shortly after, though. Cam Atkinson stormed the zone and passed it to Murray, who made a beautiful pass across the ice to Saad (well done, Murray). Saad, with his back facing Elliot, threw a spinning backhand shot into the top corner for a 2-1 CBJ lead. That’s talent. How do you score like this? Try to look away from this. Saad is something special.
- Jackets continued to buzz. The Nationwide crowd rose to its feet as Columbus’s shot advantage swelled to 13-0 in the period. This looked like the Blue Jackets we all wanted to see before the season started.
- Those Jackets headed back to the power play with 10:14 to go as Kyle Brodziak got tagged for holding. No dice for Columbus.
- Brian Elliott made a huge stop on a streaking Matt Calvert. Could’ve been 3-1.
- Saad’s goal marks the difference after two periods…and the Jackets take a 31-14 shot advantage into the dressing room. That’s 21-3 in the second period. Maybe it should be more than 2-1? Still, 31 shots after 40 minutes for our little Columbus Blue Jackets, against Ken Hitchcock’s bruising Blues. Not bad.
- Not an auspicious start as Rene Bourque took an interference call with 15:25 on the clock. Blues on the power play, down one shot.
- Jack Johnson laid a big hit on the PP and Columbus killed off the penalty.
- We’ve gotten used to this lately, the portion of the game where Columbus leads in the third and has to batten down the hatches as waves of pressure start to slam against them. Bob kicked a Shattenkirk shot out into traffic and the rebound attempt sailed wide.
- Having said that, St. Louis—more specifically David Backes—took a boarding penalty with about 8:24 left to play. William Karlsson took up the fight against Backes for his hit on Bourque. CBJ did not capitalize on the penalty.
- Bob ran into some difficulty handling the puck, nearly giving St. Louis a scoring opportunity. Close call for the big fella…he recovered, though, and that’s all that mattered:
- Chili time in the closing seconds when Joey maneuvered through the neutral zone and slid a pass for Saad, who snapped one into the empty net. 3-1 Jackets and that’s your final score.
- Fun Fact here: My computer went BSOD on me right as I was writing this, so a lot of these original thoughts were lost. Maybe because of B-Saad? BSOD? Anyway. The Blues played last night, something that St. Louis feed mentioned a time or two. Still, you gotta play your schedule and the Jackets posted 38 shots on a weighty, Central Division team that came in 12-5-1 (and 7-3-0 on the road).
- Three victories in a row is officially a winning streak. Five wins in the last seven. John Tortorella has turned this ship around. Not out of the woods yet (and that’s not even about the standings), but this team is playing good hockey. Also, the defensive responsibility from all players from the beginning of the season to now? Night and day.
- To add to that last thought: The penalty kill has been outstanding. Unsustainably so, but not letting opponents cash in on your mistakes (11 in the last two games, only two tonight) certainly helps win you three straight.
- Brandon Saad, what a player tonight. Two goals for him tonight, giving him nine on the year. I’d say that was a pretty good move to pick him up over the summer.
- Bob was Bob, and that’ll be enough for Columbus. Eighteen saves for Sergei.
- Game No. 500 for Jared Boll. I’ve written about him on here before (/ducks), so I’ll refrain from traversing any familiar territory. Love him or hate him, he’s a big part of this franchise’s history and he was +1 on the night.
- Next up: At Ottawa on Thursday before hosting Nashville on Friday. Why not add to this streak?