After some tough losses against teams they were supposed to easily beat last week, the Columbus Blue Jackets (9-12-3) were able to pull off an amazing 6-0 win last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs (14-9-1). So how did a team that has been struggling recently pull together to have such an amazing win?
First, it is important to recognize the strength the team had in the net. While Sergei Bobrovsky struggled for much of the teams road trip, he played outstandingly last night and was able to pull off his first shutout of the season. It was great to see the team’s strongest goalies finally back and playing strong.
Second, the team was able to finally come together offensively throughout the entire game. While the team has struggled during the second period this season, they were able to score two goals in all three periods of last night’s game.
It was a big night overall for the CBJ offense. Ryan Murray had his first multi-point NHL game, racking in a goal and an assist, and Jack Stille scored his first goal as a Blue Jacket. Finally, Ryan Johansen’s two goals during the third period were his seventh and eighth on the year, making him the team’s leading scorer.
Finally, the team was able to pull off this amazing win without the help of many of their strong players. The team was forced to play without many of their key forwards. This included Marian Gaborik who injured his knee during the team’s November 15th game, as well as Nathan Horton who will be out indefinitely due to a shoulder injury, and Brandon Dubinski, who missed the game with a foot injury.
Without these key players the team was forced to call on their younger and less experienced players. The decision to call on those players to step up and carry the team led to an exciting and strong win.
This momentum should be carried into tomorrow’s home game against the Nashville Predators (12-10-2). The Predators struggled earlier in the season, but have won four of their last five games and are also coming off of a strong win.
The Blue Jackets should expect the Predators to come out strong from the beginning. They need to focus on continuing to have strong offensive lines, and coming together especially where they have struggled in the past. Columbus is expected to count on their young players again tomorrow night, we can only hope they will impress us again.
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