After a strong start, the Blue Jackets were going to be facing a stiff challenge in the New York Rangers. Many were unsure if they would be up to the task. It was the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object, something had to give. Matt Calvert decided to turn into Superman and get his team a 4-2 win. What else happened that made this one of the more memorable games of the season?
Good, Better, Best
Good: Sergei Bobrovsky
Bobrovsky would never admit to as much but there were definitely demons that had to be overcome facing the Rangers. After opening night last year, the Jackets saw their team react poorly and have the worst start in franchise history. It was only a few goals given up at the end of a game, unfortunately for him and the team, it became a microcosm of the entire season.
Putting up a .926 sv% tonight against one of the hottest teams in the league is more than respectable. Everything about his game has looked great. His lateral movement and positioning has been sound. Bobrovsky hasn’t reinvented himself, if anything he reminds me of the old Vezina version circa 2013. If you are the rest of the league, watch out.
Better: Third Pairing
The third pair for the Blue Jackets has not been steady by any stretch, it has been a revolving door at times and the only consistent person on it is Markus Nutivaara. Dalton Prout has been forced out with back spasms and Scott Harrington has joined the third pairing, doing an admirable job.
The pairing last night had the highest CF% last night both above 70%. They only saw about 12 or so minutes of even strength ice time but if they keep playing down at the other end of the ice, that will force the coaching staffs hand and play them more. Could this be the steady pair they need during a volatile season?
Best: Matt Calvert
What can you say about Calvert? He was an absolute force to be reckoned with last night. He took a slap shot to the face last night and was able to return to score the shorthanded, game winning goal. He will never be the most heralded player and he won’t ever be the most skilled. That isn’t a put down, that is just a fact but what he brings is heart that can’t be matched. Now the longest tenured player on the team, he knows what the fans have been through. He consistently puts it all out on the ice and he does so in a variety of ways. Calvert is the Blue Jackets personified and fans wouldn’t have it any other way.