The Columbus Blue Jackets (14-15-4) have finally managed to pull off a successful week. On both Tuesday and Thursday the team rallied together to beat both the New Jersey Devils (13-15-6) and the New York Rangers (16-17-1). And while they lost their game Saturday against the St. Louis Blues (20-6-3), they played strong through the entire game and lost due to a misplay at their own blue line.
Nonetheless, the team has shown that they can play to their competition. Even though they lost on Saturday, they controlled the puck for most of the game and held their 3-1 lead through the entire first period. The Blue Jackets continue to prove that they can play competitively against some of the leagues best teams; their wins this week against weaker competition not only helped their record but also brought the team together.
So who really stood out during this week? First and foremost, Matt Calvert has come back strong. After suffering an injury early in the season, Calvert has proven that he is an important part of the Blue Jackets team. Calvert scored a goal in three of last weeks games. His quick goal against the Rangers got the team going early and set up how the game would go from there. It’s great to see one of the key players back and playing well.
Second, this list would not be complete without Ryan Johansen. Johansen has established himself as the team’s leading scorer and has managed to score a point in the team’s last eight games. He played aggressively through all four games the team had last week and was a key part to the team’s success.
Finally, it is important to recognize the team’s strength between the pipes. Both Curtis McElhinny and Mike McKenna played strong during all four games. Both goalies were forced to step up after the team lost their starter Sergei Bobrovsky for at least three weeks due to a groin injury. They have proven that they can play competitively and execute successful saves.
It was an exciting week for the Blue Jackets and we can only hope that they can continue to be successful. Players are finally proving themselves as the leaders they were expected to be; now they just need to keep it up.