Aftermath No. 5: Detroit

Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 10:50 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

DETROIT -- Jonas Gustavsson played borderline out-of-his-mind tonight for the Red Wings


That's no excuse, either; for the second straight game, the Blue Jackets set the tone against a team they deemed a "measuring stick" and created opportunities in the offensive zone. One glaring constant from Saturday's game to tonight? Lack of finish. Columbus pumped 37 pucks at the Detroit net but only one - a terrific individual effort from Cam Atkinson - beat Gustavsson tonight.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards was optimistic after the game and said this kind of effort is going to produce a positive result. At some point, though, the Jackets need to see these solid efforts turn into points and victories -- you'll recall they were on the wrong end of too many one-goal decisions last season. 

Some positives: the forecheck, execution of their game plan against the Red Wings, and the chances created on the power play. 

Let's talk about the deets of tonight's game...

- The Blue Jackets wanted to come out "flying" tonight, in the words of James Wisniewski. They were down early on the Alfredsson goal but recovered well. They put 18 shots on goal in the opening period and had their way in the Red Wings end, but struggled to capitalize on their chances. They've clearly found a recipe for success (at least in terms of creating space and offense) against Detroit, but they have to convert on the business end. 

- David Savard had himself a nice game tonight in a place that can cause trouble for inexperienced players. He handled the fast ice well, I thought, and made quick plays in transition to keep the Jackets' flow going. He and Nikitin have formed a nice third pairing if the duo happens to stay together. Savard and Ryan Murray have played so well it's been hard for Richards to consider them for scratches.

- Blake Comeau said this morning that he wasn't thinking about the laceration and obviously felt well enough to play, and he fit nicely alongside Johansen and Umberger. Johansen was one of the most active Blue Jackets tonight, chipping pucks deep, making plays along the wall and being a steady presence in the middle of the ice. 

- If you were to ask a few Red Wings players, they'd probably tell you they aren't big fans of No. 38 in the Jackets sweater. Boone Jenner was a problem all night long for Detroit's defense and a credit to the kid - he kept going in hard on the forecheck and finishing checks. When he locks in on the puck, it's almost as if he cannot live without it. 

- Richards really liked Atkinson's game and for good reason: he was quick, slippery and dangerous with the puck tonight. He led the Jackets with six shots on goal and his play gave the top line a formidable look.

- The Blue Jackets weren't at their best in the face-off circle tonight, and it could have been a lot worse. Columbus won 48 percent of the draws against Detroit but Ryan Johansen won 15 on his own - and his line saw extended time with the puck as a result.

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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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