Coming off consecutive losses to start the season, Dallas entered Tuesday’s game against Columbus hungry for their first win, and they certainly looked the part jumping out to an early 2-0 lead.
The Blue Jackets fought back in the 2nd scoring a couple goals and outshooting the Stars 16-9, only to allow a pair (including an ENG) to Tyler Seguin before eventually falling 4-2 for their first loss of the season.
1. I thought the Blue Jackets showed good resiliency fighting back from an early 2-0 deficit. They were on their heels for much of the 1st period, but they managed to survive and keep the game manageable by only trailing two with 40 minutes to play. Obviously that’s not an ideal start at home, but they were playing a very good team and it certainly could have been worse. Good on them for controlling play for much of the final 40 and giving themselves a chance to try and get it to overtime.
2. More than anything else I think the Jackets caught Dallas on a bad night. Again, they entered the game winless and Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn both were pointless through two. As leaders of the team and arguably two of the top-10 players in hockey, you knew this wasn’t going to last. They single handedly beat the Jackets on Tuesday.
Seguin: three goals, six shots.
Benn: one goal, three assists, four shots.
No shame in being beaten by those guys.
3. Ryan Johansen looked good in the first two games and did contribute by picking up three points in that span, but I think this performance was easily his best. He had two goals and created several chances while seeing almost 20 minutes of ice, nearly five minutes more than he played in each of his first two contests. As he shakes off any remaining rust and gets up to speed he’s only going to get better.
4. Sergei Bobrovsky through three games: 76-82 for a .927SV%. He’s already in midseason form.
5. I like hockey fights as much as the next guy, but staged fights between enforcers for the hell of it are annoying more than anything else, and really just a waste of time. What I do like, though, is when two players who can do more than punch people get caught up in the heat of the game and square off. A perfect example of that was Jamie Benn vs Nick Foligno. They may not have traded haymakers like heavyweights, but I thought it was more entertaining than two bad hockey players fighting for no reason.
6. Speaking of Foligno, I thought he was one of the better players on the ice for Columbus. He added an assist and the Jackets were at their best when he was on the ice. They generated 16 of 28 shot attempts (57%) while Foligno was on the ice, which was 1st among all Blue Jackets players.
He also made Jamie Benn sit in the box for over seven minutes, which is always a positive in a tie game.
7. Cam Atkinson continues to impress me. He did well in possession, recorded at least a point for the third consecutive game and had five shots in almost 20 minutes of ice. I’ve said it a few times already, but I think he’s in line for a huge season.
8. Through two games Marko Dano was on the ice for 30 shot attempts for and just six against at 5 vs 5, which not only was best on the team but best in the league. How was he rewarded? Playing less than 10 minutes on a line with Michael Chaput and Jared Boll. Somehow he still had a couple chances and drew a penalty, but it’s hard for a skilled rookie to do much playing such limited minutes.
9. One thing Columbus needs to stop doing so much: dumping the puck in. If it’s your only option and you can’t make a play with the puck, go right ahead. That said, dumping it in on odd-man rushes is absolutely ridiculous, and they did it on a few occasions against Dallas.
10. Next up for the Jackets: Calgary at home on Friday. They’ll need to get off to a much better start in that one. Recent posts Ranking the top-5 goaltenders Ranking the top-5 defensemen Ranking the top-5 wingers Ranking the top-5 centers Stanley Cup predictions
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