Aftermath No. 28: Phoenix

Saturday, 03.16.2013 / 9:45 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

This is a fun little run now, isn't it? My goodness. 

Not much else you can say after another dynamite performance from the guy who wears No. 72 and seemingly stops every puck headed in his direction. Sergei Bobrovsky made 39 saves tonight to equal a season high, turned away both Coyotes' attempts in the shootout, and helped the Blue Jackets pick up a monster victory tonight on home ice in the third game of a five-game home stand.

What we have here is a playoff race, friends.

As for regulation and overtime tonight, you could call it a chess match or you could call it rather uneventful, but the latter would be wrong. These were two teams playing desperate hockey and needed the points to keep pace in the Western Conference, and not surprisingly, they ended up playing yet another one-goal game. That's nine of the last 10  for the Blue Jackets to go beyond regulation and tonight was their fourth consecutive shootout.

Jack Johnson quipped post-game: "It's like a 52-game schedule with all these overtime games." Yeah, that's about accurate.

The Blue Jackets got a big effort from the full group tonight, as well, playing a sharp game inside their own end and not giving the Coyotes second and third chances due to turnovers and careless mistakes. They were on their game tonight, and obviously, so was their goaltender.

Let's break it down.

1. BOBROVSKY: All-caps is fitting because of the guy's play lately. How often do fans find themselves shouting that familiar Jay Onrait line whenever "Goalie Bob" comes up with another masterful save? It seems like they're coming often these days and it's a blast to watch. He's seeing the pucks, reading plays and playing at a level that allows the rest of the group to relax and focus on their game. How about these stats from his past week? His GAA is 0.62, save percentage is .982 with one shutout in three appearances -- might we see an encore for the NHL No. 1 star of the week?

2. TEAM EFFORT: Each of the guys up and down the Blue Jackets bench is dug in right now, and you can tell by their desperation and sacrifice -- which is exactly what Todd Richards pointed out post-game. Their "care" and "compete" for doing things the right way is sky-high and as a result, they're not giving up much on the defensive side of the puck and making teams earn everything. It's no coincidence when word spreads around the NHL about who the hardest-working team is. It might just be the one here in Columbus.

3. FOURTH LINE, STICK TAP: These guys haven't received enough credit for the energy they put forth each night. Tonight it was Jared Boll dropping the mitts with Paul Bissonnette - who like Boll, is always a willing combatant - and putting a jolt of energy through the building and his bench. It was a heck of a fight, too, with boys guys landing some solid blows and Bissonnette's jersey looking like it was put through a chainsaw spin cycle. Colton Gillies, Derek MacKenzie and Nick Drazenovic before he returned to Springfield -- all these guys have done well to establish presence in the opponents' end and bring the physical element for Columbus.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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