One: Columbus went into Ottawa and played with confidence and a complete team effort. With 3 of the 4 goals coming from the power play, their special teams are working very well. The word of the day for this afternoon tilt was consistency. They got back to short, accurate passing of the puck, foregoing cross-ice stretch passes. They made smart puck decisions and had a good forecheck. The chip-and-chase was working well for them. Head coach Todd Richards post-game said, “That’s Blue Jacket hockey, right there. That’s what we’re accustomed to.” Consistent play like this will get them back into the thick of things in the Eastern Conference standings.
Two: One word, “Bobrovsky”. The Russian netminder was on his game in Canadian Tire Center today. Mechanically, he was sound. He had very good rebound control and was able to make timely saves reminiscent of the latter half of last season. Being benched for two games earlier in the season has done him good, allowing him to tweak a few things that needed work. He was positionally sound, with good lateral movement. This is the goalie that Columbus needs to get back into a winning streak.
Three: Ryan Johansen was in beast mode this afternoon, garnering a goal (power play) and an assist in the 4-1 victory. He went 11 of 19 in the face-off circle while also having 5 shots on goal. His play continues to be a bright spot within the team and he’s making major strides in becoming a very good power forward in the NHL. The patience and skill he showed on his goal was positively sublime today.