Columbus is no longer the worst team in the league.
Well, last night’s 2-1 win over Florida put the Jackets in a tie with Edmonton, but misery enjoys company.
That win broke away from the many detrimental trends to which the Jackets have become accustomed. Columbus allowed only 25 shots to reach Sergei Bobrovsky after allowing 42 to Nashville and letting up an average of 32.9 per game. Kerby Rychel and Jack Johnson were the only two Jackets to serve time in the sin bin, both minor penalties, coming in well under the season average of 11.1 penalty minutes. Four giveaways also allowed the Jackets more opportunities to run the offense and generate opportunities.
Columbus registered only 25 shots, but 12 of those came during the third period. Seeing how the final 20 minutes of games of games have not treated the Jackets well lately, they had been outscored 13-3 in the six games prior, this is something at which to marvel, even if it is just for one game. Time will tell if this becomes a recurring trend.
The scorekeepers did not have an active night, but let’s take a closer look at the goals that decided this contest.
Do the Matty Hustle
When Jordan Leopold dumps the puck behind the net, Nick Bjugstad takes a stab at it and whiffs, but he doesn’t recover, allowing Matt Calvert to roam to the slot freely. Willie Mitchell vacates the slot to challenge Michael Chaput who quickly feeds a wide open Calvert. A little shake-and-bake later, Jackets lead 1-0.