Victory over New Jersey showed Blue Jackets’ grit

The Blue Jackets are showing more and more flashes of having the

mentality of the team that went on a 19-5-5 run over the last 29 games

last year. They are getting back to playing the game the way that works

for them. Resiliency and never quitting has to be their mantra going

forward.

They showed those traits in the 5-4 win

over the visiting New Jersey Devils. They shot pucks at the net and got

into the dirty area around the goal. They never gave up, clawing their

way back for the victory. This is what they had to do when facing future

Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur.

“I didn’t

think we had a great start,” said Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky,

“I didn’t think our legs were moving. I think we were a little bit

tired and it showed. But we found a way to get a big win against a

division rival. That’s the most important thing.”

The

line of Cam Atkinson/Dubinsky/Matt Calvert had nine points on

the night, with Atkinson (2-2-4, +2) and Dubinsky (1-3-4, +3) both

notching their first four-point games. This line

combined for 4-5-9, +6 on the night.

“It’s nice

to get rewarded,” Atkinson said. “The line was going and it feels good to get the win.”

Atkinson understands how special it was to face the future Hall of

Famer in the opposite net.

“You can’t really score too many goals on

him, but when you get those opportunities, you try to bear down,” he said. “We were

just trying to get pucks at his feet. I think that’s the only thing you

could have done against him. He’s a Hall of

fame goalie. Just to get one on him is pretty special. I

should have kept the pucks.”

It was a sloppy

game, with the hometown team getting off to sluggish start. While they

didn’t put up a ton of shots on goal, the ones they did shoot were more

of the “quality” variety. Accurate shots to the net created the chances

they capitalized on.

“In the first period, we

didn’t have too many forwards going or too many defensemen going,” said

Columbus head coach Todd Richards. “We weren’t focused (at the start of

the game). At the start of the second period, too, we weren’t focused.

It could have been fatigue. When you’re tired, the mind usually isn’t

working.”

Richards addressed the play of

Dubinsky one night removed from getting tossed from the Pittsburgh game.

“I saw Brandon play hard. To me, I’ve seen that in most of the games

that he’s played. I don’t know if that was a motivation from last night.

I have no idea.”

“You never complain about

wins and never apologize for wins. We found ways

to win games. The previous two before the Pittsburgh game, we

played some pretty good hockey. Even in Pittsburgh, with the 2-1 loss,

we did a lot of good things. (Against New Jersey) it was sloppy. It was

ugly. I think we baited them into playing that ugly game, a mistake

game.

“You’ve got to find ways to win games.

And, we found a way to win this game. We found a way to score one more

goal than they did.”

For a young team, these are

the bricks upon which a contender is built. Take these lessons and put

them into the collective psyche of the team. Do not forget them. Only

then will they become consistent. The guys in the room want to win. And,

the fans in Ohio deserve a winning team.

Short Shifts

• Center

Ryan Johansen has a career-high six-game (2-6-8) point streak going. In

31 games, he leads the team in points, going 10-14-24, with a

+/- of -4. Against the Devils, he went 69.2 percent in the faceoff

circle. He’s rapidly maturing into one of the better players on this

club.

• The Blue Jackets and their AHL affiliate

team, the Springfield Falcons, extended their affiliation through the

2014-2015 season. “Our affiliation with the Springfield Falcons has been

very successful and we are excited to extend our relationship with

Springfield”, said Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager Chris

MacFarland. AGM MacFarland oversees hockey operations for the club’s

affiliates. “The Falcons organization, from Charles Pompea and Bruce

Landon to the coaching staff led by Brad Larsen, has provided our young

players with a great environment in which to develop and have

success.”

• The Blue Jackets return to action in

New York on Thursday as they take on the Rangers at Madison Square

Garden. Game time is 7pm.

• Columbus sits just three

points out of third place in the Metropolitan Division, the third and

final guaranteed playoff berth. They have a game in hand on both the

Carolina Hurricanes (3rd place, 32 points) and the New York Rangers (4th

place, 31 points).