Tonight’s performance started out as an even-matched affair between the Blue Jackets and Wild, but slowly turned lopsided. After the first period, and even at a couple moments in the opening frame, the Jackets leaned heavily on goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
Bobrovsky ended the night by making 32 saves, including stopping 2 of 4 attempts in a shootout enroute to a 2-1 victory. It’s pretty obvious now that Bobrovsky loves playing in Minnesota. The Wild kept throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Bobrovsky, but he stood tall. The only error made was when his defense couldn’t win a race to a loose puck and Jason Pominville deposited a Zach Parise feed. I would venture to say Bobrovsky’s play was flawless despite that play. They say that down the stretch sometimes your goalie has to steal a game for you, and this was one such game for the Blue Jackets.
From the drop of the puck it was obvious both teams were starving for points. The game was fast paced and hard hitting, and the referees were letting them play. The game finished with one penalty called, against the Blue Jackets’ David Savard for interference. The refs were treating it as a playoff game, and at times the pace seemed as such. It was a punch/counter-punch scoring summary as Dalton Prout got the Jackets on the board first at the very end of the 2nd period, and then Pominville netted the puck early in the third. The Wild had a step on the Jackets all night, but the play of Bobrovsky kept the boys in Union Blue in it.
It wasn’t until the shootout that the Jackets players were able to finally get Bobrovsky’s back. After Parise and Mikko Koivu scored on their first two attempts Bobrovsky stopped Pominville. Cam Atkinson missed the first attempt and the CBJ were down 2-0. Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu then scored the CBJ’s next two attempts to tie it up. Matt Moulsen was then stopped by Bobrovsky, setting up Ryan Johansen to net the game winning shot. Johansen turned on the dangles to beat the Wild’s Darcy Keumper, but it was not without controversey. It appeared to be a double-hit initially, but after further review it was found to be a good goal.
With the season coming to an end very soon, the Jackets are currently on the inside looking out. Points are coming at a premium and from time to time they’re going to need Bobrovsky to steal a game for them. It’s okay to lean on him from time to time, but the play from the guys up front will need to be better. Next game is at home against Carolina at 7 pm.