Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets Game Day Report and Keys to the Match Up
Where: Nationwide Arena
When: Saturday, November 2nd @ 7pm
Broadcast Information: Fox Sports Ohio, 97.1 The Fan
Needless to say, last night did not go as planned for the Jackets in the debut of the Columbus / Pittsburgh rivalry. For there to be a rivalry, both sides must show up and put forward 60 minutes of hard fought effort. The Jackets managed at best 5-10 minutes of what could be considered acceptable play, and by the time they actually arrived on the ice at Consol Energy Center, the Penguins already had a commanding lead. Very little went right for the Jackets last night. Sloppy play, turnovers, poor goaltending, and awful stick handling all combined to make last night an easy win for the Penguins. While the majority of last night’s game was a disaster, Derek MacKenzie and Ryan Johansen were able to find the back of the net. MacKenzie’s goal came with plenty of time left (halfway through the second), but a come back just was not in the cards. The Penguins contained the Jackets’ attack until there was a minute left in the game and Johansen scored the Jackets final goal.
The Blue Jackets need to put last night behind them and have a bounce back game today in front of a home crowd. Nationwide will likely contain a good amount of black and gold as well, so the CBJ need to provide the Jackets fans something to cheer for. Columbus needs to come out strong and keep the Penguins off the board (something they were unable to do last night), and try to get that all important first goal themselves. The real concern, however, is keeping the momentum going in the 2nd period. Once again the Jackets play unraveled in the second period, where they allowed 3 unanswered goals that sealed their fate. How they start and finish the game is important (something the Jackets have done pretty well), but they cannot forget about the middle.
Originally, Coach Todd Richards had indicated that Bobrovsky and McElhinney would split the starts this weekend, but with Bob getting pulled last night in the 2nd period, it is unknown what that will do to those plans. McElhinney surrendered a goal on the first shot he faced, but then held the Penguins in check the rest of the night. Bobrovsky had plenty of rest over the last week, so last night could not be attributed to fatigue. Therefore, I hope Coach Richards gives Bobrovsky a chance to redeem himself today in front of the home crowd. While Bobrovsky has not been in Vezina form so far, last night was by far his worst performance on the season. Bad games happen, he just needs to bounce back today.
Click over to the next page to check out today’s Keys to the Match Up!