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GOAL OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE #4: NICK FOLIGNO
Turns out that late-season road game in Colorado feature some pretty significant moments, didn't it?
After RJ Umberger tied the game at 3-3 and secured at least a point for the Blue Jackets, they got right back on track in pursuit of the game-winner. They saw their goaltender steal two points for them in a shootout win at Minnesota a couple of nights earlier, and this game in Denver could have gone the other way if not for some clutch scoring from Umberger.
All that was left in one of the most dramatic finishes of 2012-13 was a thrilling finisher from Nick Foligno. Fedor Tyutin won a puck battle at the Jackets' blue line and sprung the puck ahead to Foligno, who saw Umberger quickly join him up-ice for a 2-on-1 break. Foligno held on to the puck and snapped a wrister through the pads of J-S Giguere, sending Columbus to its second straight win on the road trip.
You know the drill: if this is YOUR pick for Blue Jackets goal of the year, fill out the form below & cast your vote!
GOAL OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE #3: RJ UMBERGER
When looking back on the 2012-13 Blue Jackets season and their late-season playoff run, few games stick out like that overtime win in Colorado. The Blue Jackets looked to be on the ropes (and for all intents and purposes, they were) after a go-ahead power play goal by Colorado's Stefan Elliot with two minutes left in regulation.
Down 3-2 and desperately needing at least a point out of the second game of their road trip, the Blue Jackets got a gigantic goal from one of their veteran leaders.
Umberger, who had quality opportunities earlier in the game, was the recipient of a sweet lob pass from Ryan Johansen and the puck took a fortunate bounce over an Avalanche defenseman's stick, allowing Umberger to take the pass in stride. He got a step on the defense and broke in alone on J-S Giguere, backhanding the tying goal between the goaltender's pads and helping send the game to overtime.
We all know what happened from there. Nick Foligno tallied the overtime winner on a 2-on-1 with (guess who?) Umberger flying down his opposite wing.
GOAL OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE #2: ARTEM ANISIMOV
March 3, 2013 seems like a year ago, doesn't it?
The Blue Jackets were two days removed from a disappointing overtime loss in Chicago (which ironically featured the first Goal of the Year candidate, shown above) and about to begin a home stand that could make or break their playoff chances - and as we all know, this game is kind of where it all began. On a Blue Jackets power play in overtime, Anisimov collected the puck in the right circle, waited until an Avalanche defenseman over-committed on the pass, and ripped a short-side wrist shot past Semyon Varlamov to give Columbus a 2-1 victory.
Anisimov's goal secured the first of four straight home wins for the Blue Jackets and helped propel them to a 19-5-5 finish that included a handful of dramatic endings such as this one.
So, now it's time to vote. Is this YOUR pick for Blue Jackets goal of the year? If so, fill out the form below and tell us what you think!
GOAL OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE #1: RYAN JOHANSEN
Some pretty slick mitts from the kid, huh?
At the time of this goal, the Blue Jackets probably had no idea (at least we didn't) what was ahead of them: a franchise-record 12 game points streak which would ultimately vault them back into playoff contention, where they would remain until the final moments of the regular season. Ryan Johansen's game-tying goal - as shown above - was an artful combination of top-end skill in tight spaces and a finishing ability that's very exciting for Blue Jackets fans.
The Blue Jackets forced overtime in this game and pushed the Chicago Blackhawks all the way to the limit for the third time in their season series; of the many teams to suffer defeat at Chicago's hands this season, the Blue Jackets were one of those to give them the most trouble, playing several one-goal games that were decided either in overtime or the shootout.
In one of his first games since being recalled from Springfield, Johansen scored this beauty to square things at 3-3 late in the third period and secure a pretty important point for Columbus. Why so important, you say? Well, what happened in the following weeks isn't something any of us will soon forget - and there's no points streak unless this game unfolded how it did.
Much like we've done with the top hits and saves of the 2012-13 season so far, we're now counting down the top goals. The key to making this even more awesome? YOUR vote.
Do you think this goal is worthy of the "top goal of the year" honor for the Blue Jackets? If so, fill out the form below and hit the submit button.
If not, we'll display some of the other contenders in the weeks to come.