Washington Capitals @ Columbus Blue Jackets: Post Game Edition


Washington Capitals @  Columbus Blue Jackets

Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, January 30, 2014.  7:00 pm.

Nationwide Arena.  Columbus, Ohio.

Period 1Period 2Period 3Final

Coming off of 3 straight losses the Blue Jackets were looking to get back to the winning ways of January as they took on the Capitals at home.  For the previous 3 games before Thursday night, the Jackets were notplaying the style that caused them to win 8 straight just a short time before.  The special teams were not clicking, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky looked to be struggling.  With the offensively powerful Capitals in town, the CBJ managed to return to mid-January form. A couple of the key players that had been carrying the team virtually disappeared during the 3 game slide, but Thursday it was decided enough was enough. Ryan Johansen netted 2 goals, Brandon Dubinsky found the back of the net, Cam Atkinson  grabbed himself a tally, and Bobrovsky found his game again.

I don’t think it could be said enough that when Bobrovsky is lost, the entire team is lost.  This was not the case tonight, as Bobrovsky made several key saves, including stoning Alex Ovechkin in spectacular fashion again, as well as standing tall during a 5-on-3 late in the game.  The only criticism that could be made of Bobrovsky’s play was the goal Joel Ward  scored shorthanded while breaking down the right side.  It was a solid shot to the far stick-side of Bob, not a terrible shot, but one I believe he could have stopped by being a bit more aggressive on the break.  That goal was really the only blemish on yet another great night of goaltending for Bobrovsky.

It is also becoming quite apparent that when Johansen isn’t contributing, this team isn’t winning.  He is having a breakout year, and his success is directly related to the success of the Jackets.  Johansen found the net again tonight, and the Jackets found themselves on the winning end.

Something must be said about the play of Derek MacKenzie lately.  He has been a man possessed out on the ice, which he normally is, but the difference is now he’s being rewarded.  DMac got the boys in Union Blue going in the first with a nifty breakaway and deke shorthanded.  It was is fourth goal in the last seven games.  Not only did MacKenzie manage to find the net, but he also hasn’t lost his ability to impact on the defensive side.  He blocked some wicked shots, and always is an impact player on the forecheck.

Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

All in all it was another complete team victory for the Jackets.  The defense played very strong in front of Bobrovsky, and the four lines just kept on rolling.  The penalty kill was also huge, as it had to be against the Capitals and Ovechkin.  As of the time of this post this victory moves the CBJ back into 3rd in the Metropolitan Division, and let’s hope the boys can keep it going.

My Three Stars:

1.  Ryan Johansen…Joey is back to being Joey after disappearing for the last 3 games.  2G, 0A, 2pts, +2.

2.  Sergei Bobrovsky…stopped 30 of 32 shots, robbed Ovechkin point blank again, and was up to the task of a 5-on-3.

3.  Derek MacKenzie….DMac stays hot by burying another goal, this one shorthanded.  Lit the fire under the CBJ early.  1G, 0A,
7 hits, 2 blocked shots.