Last night the Blue Jackets took down the Red Wings 3-0, clinching the season series against Detroit for the first time in franchise history. Also making history was Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 30 saves for his first career shutout. I was watching the game on the Detroit feed, and was shocked to hear how impressed the Wings announcers were with this Blue Jackets squad. It’s tough sometimes when you watch one team so much more than any other to keep perspective. The Wings announcers were very enthusiastic about Sergei Bobrovsky (calling him the best goalie in the NHL so far this month), talking about how they were the hardest working team the Wings have faced, and saying it looked like the Jackets were dominating the Wings like how the Wings have the Jackets for years. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Jackets goals from last night.
1-0 Columbus, 13:46 1st Period – Cam Atkinson from Matt Calvert
Obviously fantastic work done by Matt Calvert on the forecheck. He causes the first disruption, which forces Jonathan Ericsson to reverse the puck back to Niklas Kronwall. Also note Cam making sure to get down there and take away the boards. Great two man job there to remove the option of quickly moving the puck back the other way. Calvert then capitalizes on a boneheaded play by Kronwall. While Calvert had some great hustle, I have no idea why Kronwall tried reversing the puck back to Ericsson instead of using the net to pick Calvert, and simply hitting Eaves with a tape to tape pass. Instead he tries to put the puck through Calvert, he picks it off, and Atkinson makes no mistake.
2-0 Columbus, 5:12 2nd Period – Jack Johnson from Derick Brassard and RJ Umberger
The hidden play here is the work by Ryan Johansen. As Brassard and Umberger work the entry, Johan goes hard to the net. This draws two defenders in, which is what creates the space for Brassard to cut across the slot. Great work by Brassard to get the Wings moving across the zone, and by Johnson for making the read to cut the other way. I’d also like to note the shoddy work by Henrik Zetterberg. He gets caught fishing and standing still at the blueline on the entry, then picks up no one coming back into the zone, then doesn’t cover the other side of the zone when Franzen comes over to help him out. If the forward on one side of the box comes across to cover, the other forward needs to switch sides. Zetterberg nevers does this, and Johnson and Brassard take advantage of the time it takes for Franzen to get back to his side.
3-0 Columbus, 6:35 2nd Period – Nick Foligno from Ryan Johansen
In my post yesterday, I spoke at great length about shooting percentage, PDO and “luck”. Unfortunately, many hockey fans seem to be divided on the concept of luck. Here is a great example of how luck plays into this. While shots of posts and crossbars is often the prime example for luck when it comes to shooting percentage, plays like this are probably more common. The puck takes a strange bounce, goes off Quincey’s skate, right on Johansen’s stick, and Foligno gets to take an uncovered one timer from a great scoring area. Now Johansen has to be working hard to be in position to pick up that puck, and Foligno has to have skill to bury it, but the puck could just have easily not bounced off Quincey’s skate, or still hit Quincey’s skate but go in a different direction, or simply hop over Johansen’s stick. Hockey is a game of inches (millimeters in some cases), and the way those inches go is what constitutes luck. With how hard this team has worked this year, I’m glad the luck has started to turn in their favor. Let’s hope this four game winning streak continues tonight in Detroit.