Columbus Blue Jackets Blow Out Islanders in Season Opener

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 6: Sonny Milano
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 6: Sonny Milano /

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ season got underway Friday night with a home game against the New York Islanders, and it went better than anyone could’ve imagined. Controlling the game pretty much start to finish, it was an ideal start to the year.

A 5-0 blowout win for the Columbus Blue Jackets over a divisional foe was just what the doctor ordered in the season opener. Another CBJ home-opening loss wouldn’t have sat well with the players, media or fans.

Fortunately, Sonny Milano’s first career goal just over a minute into the game gave the Blue Jackets some early but much-needed momentum. From there on out, it was all CBJ.

It was just 1 of 82, but that one felt damn good. Not only the winning part, but also to pitch a shutout and score multiple goals was fun and somewhat relieving to watch.

New Players Contributing

Some people might be surprised to learn that Artemi Panarin is, in fact, still a good hockey player without Patrick Kane. His talent was on display last night, helping on three goals and looking great as always.

Additionally, the rookies and other young players fit right in and played a big role. Oliver Bjorkstrand assisted on the Milano goal mentioned earlier. Later, Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored his first NHL goal.

The other rookies, Gabriel Carlsson and Markus Hannikainen, played well too. Their roles were a little smaller, but they did their jobs.

Since John Tortorella focuses on the way his team plays, rather than just the outcome, he should be left feeling happy with the new guys so far–or whatever feeling Torts gets when things are going well.

Veterans Setting Tone

Tortorella said after the game, “I don’t think [Bobrovsky] was too busy, but he made some key saves at key times.

Sergei Bobrovsky played well Friday night, finishing the game with a 29-save shutout. The outing was especially good to see after a less than stellar playoff performance to end last year’s campaign. The worst thing for him would’ve been a confidence-breaker on opening night.

Instead, he and the other veterans on the Columbus Blue Jackets played a solid game. Nick Foligno, Brandon Dubinsky, David Savard, the list goes on. Veteran players did what they had to do. It was also good to see Ryan Murray score a goal in this game.

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The first game went very well, but most of the remaining 81 will be a lot tougher than that. And there’s no time to celebrate either as the Columbus Blue Jackets are in the Windy City tonight to face the Chicago Blackhawks and old friend Brandon Saad.