Matinee games can be ultra random. Some teams don’t show up to play and get blown out, others are just trying to work the cob webs out. In today’s affair, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals played a choppy but fun game. The Jackets came out victorious with a 3-2 score. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of it all.
Good, Better, Best
Good: Brandon Dubinsky
One of the larger disappointments of the Jackets’ season thus far has been Dubinsky. He has been rock solid for the Jackets during his tenure but to start the year he has been downright dreadful – struggling to get on the scoresheet, and in the bottom half of the corps in shot generation and suppression. While he wasn’t dominant tonight, he was able to do the right things and make sure they stayed in the game. His goal was obviously huge and brought the team right back into it. The part that won’t get as much attention is the amount of ice time he got and the amount of shot attempts he controlled at even strength.
Tied for the most overall TOI among forwards and fourth in even strength ice time among forwards, controlling the play as he did with a 55% even strength CF is amazing. This is classic Dubinsky and an encouraging sign for the team moving forward. If he turns the corner, he has a chance to make the Jackets even more dangerous.
Better: Nick Foligno and Alexander Wennberg
Neither player had a great night at even strength, both were below 50% CF, but that doesn’t matter when you are dominant on the power play. Wennberg and Foligno go together like peas and carrots. They are making plays that offensively elite players make on a regular basis and if they keep scoring at this clip, they’ll belong right next to that crowd.
But one of the big stories of this game will be about Foligno’s high sticking sell and with good reason, it changed the tide of the game. The Capitals are complaining about the call which doesn’t make much sense given they would love to have gotten a similar call.
Wennberg and Foligno were able to take advantage of the call to score the game winner. If you can game the system, why wouldn’t you?
Best: Zach Werenski
While he didn’t have the game winning goal (he only picked up a secondary assist in the game), it can’t be understated how important he has been to this team. Despite Seth Jones not being around due to a hairline fracture in his foot, the Jackets have barely missed a beat. Werenski is moving along at a good clip, scoring like nobody’s business and putting up great Corsi numbers. He is the heart of the team and has been a difference maker since day one. If the team can keep up their winning ways, Werenski is going to be one of the main reasons.
Tweet of the Game: