After losing two out of their last three, the Jackets were hoping that their weekend getaway to Florida would add some clarity to how the rest of their season is going to play out now that the streak has ended. Did the Jackets lose some of the mojo that got them as far as it did? Were they relying on their goaltender a little too much and are finally getting burned by it? The team had a lot to answer for in during their 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Were they able to answer any of their burning questions?
Good, Better, Best
Good: Nick Foligno
The captain came through for the Jackets once again. The first period of this game was an absolute jumbled mess and for a good portion of the second period as well, it looked like the game may be hopeless. The team overall wasn’t playing very well. Luckily, as the Jackets of this year are known to do, they went on the power play and went to work immediately. A Zach Werenski shot that rebounded off of Andrei Vasilevskiy fell right to Foligno and he finished the job.
It doesn’t hurt that despite the lines being in a blender, Foligno was still a positive on the evening in regard to his shot differential at even strength. His value a lot of the time is his versatility and it has been used often these past couple of weeks.
Better: Joonas Korpisalo
When Sergei Bobrovsky was unable to start against the Lightning, it was looking just like the Hurricanes game from earlier in the week. A back up was going to come in on short notice and have to play admirably to keep the Jackets in the game. Instead of Anton Forsberg, Joonas Korpisalo was going to be the person manning the net. Korpisalo had been having a dismal year in the AHL but in his time last year in the NHL, he has been absolutely lights out.
Who exactly were they going to see?
They saw the NHL version of Korpisalo that Blue Jackets fans have known and love. He posted a .969 sv% last night and after a first period where he nearly faced 20 shots. The Jackets simply wouldn’t have won the game without him. The Jackets are hoping they found themselves their back up in the future in Korpisalo. If this start was any indication of his play, they may have just found the man for the job.
Best: Martin St. Louis
St. Louis’ number was retired last night in a pregame ceremony and unfortunately for Lightning fans, the Jackets ruined the party. The ceremony before hand was touching and sweet. John Tortorella spoke before hand and was his normal candid self. St. Louis is one of the few players in the game that changed the perception for a position. While smaller players in the league have come and gone, he stuck around and became a household name in the process.
He helped inspire players like Cam Atkinson and multiple other players in the league. In a time where Gary Bettman focused on growing the game throughout the United States, St. Louis helped an awful lot by overcoming obstacles and being a mainstay in the league for the past decade.
What a well deserved honor.