Aftermath No. 8: Vancouver
One of the most impressive things about tonight's win for the Blue Jackets is that they had plenty of obstacles in their way.
They didn't take advantage of back-to-back delay of game penalties committed by the Canucks in the second period (as weirdly random and bizarre as that is), coming up empty on what could have been a game-changing two-man advantage. In addition, they had what was most likely a goal disallowed in the third period despite some rather conclusive video evidence suggesting otherwise.
Riding a four-game skid entering the game, the Blue Jackets chose to shove those things to the side and get back to their game - and it paid off with a monster effort in the third period.
BLUE JACKETS 3 | CANUCKS 1
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Both teams were playing their second game in two nights but it was Columbus that brought its legs in the final 20, and a 13-shot onslaught in the third period helped them beat Eddie Lack for a second time.
How about that pass by Ryan Johansen, too? Pretty exciting stuff, and good that two guys who have worked hard all year long were rewarded with multi-point games.
Also important: getting that first win at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets are in the midst of four straight home games and eight of nine in their friendly confines, making a good start a pretty important item on the agenda here tonight.
The Jackets' backbone was Curtis McElhinney, making his first NHL start in almost two years between the pipes. Many of the young players on this club know what the guy can do, having witnessed it first-hand with Springfield during the NHL lockout.
Let's talk more about tonight's game...
- Might this be the start of a hot streak for Anisimov? He scored a goal in the Jackets' 4-1 loss to Washington on Saturday night and followed up with the primary helper on Gaborik's first period tally tonight.
Those two have history and chemistry on their side, and Todd Richards is going to give them a chance to mesh. Their left winger, Nick Foligno, was a nice complement for them tonight.
- Quite the return to the lineup for Dalton Prout, who had been a healthy scratch the previous three games. Prout played 19:11 and many of those minutes against the Sedin twins, who saw a three-pairing rotation from the Blue Jackets tonight. Prout was also a +2 (sound familiar?) and blocked three shots.
- Eleven Blue Jackets finished with a plus rating in tonight's win, which is a stark contrast from Saturday night against the Capitals.
Six players registered at least a point and the most encouraging thing was secondary scoring from the Johansen line, which has generated chances but hadn't been rewarded where it counts. That is, until tonight.
- Speaking of the Sedins, they were a combined -3 and were bottled up at even strength. The only point was Henrik's power play goal in the second period.
- From the random but fun fact department: Richards, who turned 47 today, is 3-0-0 lifetime on his birthday. Darn shame it only comes around once a year, eh? Those pesky birthdays.