The Columbus Blue Jackets have been the base for all hockey jokes and have finished last quite a few times. This being said, many believed they were gone from the moment the NHL announced the end of the lockout. Some, like myself, believed that they had some new talent and could be a good team, which they proved to be true on Saturday. They played the Nashville Predators (who went to the playoffs last year and beat them in a shootout, winning 3-2. Could this be a new era for hockey? Can the Columbus Blue Jackets utilise the shortened season to win and maybe make the playoffs?
One of the main reasons for the win in Nashville was this guy to the left. Sergei Bobrovsky, who was the number two guy in Philadelphia, went to Columbus to show of his talent. He made great saves on Nashville all night, and in the end, he showed his true colors and helped shut down the fierce Predators. Bobrovsky wasn’t the only one who had made this victory possible. Nick Foligno, who was brought over from the Ottawa Senators, scored the second goal of the game, which was Columbus’ first. Then, Artem Anisimov, formerly with the New York Rangers, had the game-tying goal in the second period. To add to that, he scored the first of the two goals that won the game in the shootout. Maybe Columbus had a good trader in the offseason, because so far, their newly acquired players have been shinning. Derick Brassard had the final goal in the shootout for Columbus, which happened to be the final say after Preds’ Craig Smith was stopped by Bobrovsky.
It seems that Columbus is getting used to being the comeback team. They came back from being down twice against the Predators, and Monday night, at home, they almost upset the Detroit Red Wings, but failed to execute their scoring in the shootout. The first two goals of the game, which were in the second period, came from Brian Lashoff, who was braught up from the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) and Ian White. About a minute later, Cam Atkinson would put one up on the board for the Blue Jackets. James Wisniewski and Vinny Prospal scored in the first half of the final period to take a
Bobrovsky to think he was shooting, but passed to Datsyuk who just tapped it in. In the shootout, it seemd Atkinson, the first Columbus shooter, scored on Jimmy Howard. Red Wing captain Henrik Zetterberg went to the refs and complained that he had
double-hit the puck. The refs reviewed the play, and Atkinson had in fact double-hit the puck. The goal was called back. scoreless the rest of the shootout, the Blue Jackets put all eyes on Bobrovsky, hoping he could stop Damien Brunner to give them another chance. The problem was that Brunner had a great team to learn about dekeing and shootouts. He pulled a great move on Bobrovsky and sunk it in the back of the net to end the game.
Even though Columbus failed to beat the Red WIngs, they seem to be a pretty strong team in the beginning. It’s only a matter of time before we see how they do in the rest of the season. It’s possible that they crumble like every year and fall to the bottom of the league. But I think that they will completely fool everyone and make this their year. They can push hard for all 48 games and make it into the playoffs, but it’s going to take a whole team effort. THey have to enter each game like it’s a necessary game to make the playoffs. If they forget their past years of being the worst in the league, they have the chance to make this their year and end the season with a bang.