Columbus Blue Jackets Get Their Heart Back in Calvert’s Return

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 13: Matt Calvert
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 13: Matt Calvert /

Every team in the NHL could be broken down into parts of a body. The Columbus Blue Jackets have the most  easily identified, individual components that I have seen in the league though.

There are some people that lead the team through goals and assists. These people are the hands. There are some players that lead the team with wisdom and playing the game right. These people are the brain. Few teams have one person that can bring the team together and play his best game every day. That person is the heart. Matt Calvert is that player for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"“Matt Calvert is a heart and soul player, who works hard on and off the ice and is a relentless competitor at both ends of the rink,” said Kekalainen.  “He’s been an important contributor to our team”"

As I was listening to the Athletic 215 Podcast, Alison Lukan brought up that the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to win but no one seems overly happy about the way we are playing. I hadn’t thought about that but it really seems to be true. That got me thinking about what the team has been missing recently and that is when Calvert popped into my brain.

When my wife and I started becoming hockey fans a couple of years ago we drifted towards loving different players. I went towards Nick Foligno because it is hard not to love a man who curses like a sailor while rocking such a great beard. My wife immediately fell in love with the way that Calvert played and was always smiling. He became her favorite player that first year and she hasn’t wavered the slightest bit since then.

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The type of play that Calvert brings to the table is the type of play that is fun to watch in hockey. He will play in any situation that he is thrown into and will do it with a smile. Do you need someone to play on the penalty kill after getting 36 stitches in his face? Calvert will not only stop the team from scoring but score a short handed goal to win the game.

You continue to love him through thick and thin because you know he will give it everything he has. If you are looking at the stats for the previous few years you won’t see Calvert at the top of the list. That is one of the reasons that I think stats are overrated in a lot of cases.

Calvert will make a play that turns the tide of the momentum and head to the bench as the next line scores. Calvert will finish a hit that gets a dead crowd back into the game. Calvert will battle along the boards against 3 defenders long enough to get an entire line change, only to pop the puck loose and give a fresh player a huge chance at a goal.

He gives it his all every time on the ice and it shows. He plays with heart and that type of player makes it easy to love and hard to be angry when he makes a mistake. He is what the team has been missing these few weeks and we are finally getting him back.

Next: How are the Young'uns Doing?

While you may not see Matt Calvert at the top of any Corsi scores or fancy stat sheets you will always see him as a fan favorite. He didn’t get that way on accident and the Columbus Blue Jackets will be a far better team having him back tonight against the Washington Capitals.