There was plenty of buzz surrounded the trade deadline for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but since then there have only been questions and uncertainty.
Starting off with the player that hasn’t played yet but was added for depth and potentially to make Sergei Bobrovsky sweat a little, Keith Kinkaid. Kinkaid was traded for by the Columbus Blue Jackets, seemingly, to make Bobrovsky understand that he isn’t the only goalie on the roster and isn’t the only one who the team can rely on. Since the trade deadline, Bobrovsky is 3-2 with an .916 save percentage. Before tonight’s game against the Penguins, he was 2-3 with an .878 save percentage, and that’s not acceptable from your starting goalie.
In fairness, out of all three of the current goalies that Columbus has on their roster, all three of them have had awful stats in their last five games. Bobrovsky was 2-3, is now 3-2, Joonas Korpisalo is 0-4, and Keith Kinkaid is 1-3. Kinkaid had the most shots against him and has the worst save average, between the three goalies.
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Bobrovsky has had two amazing games since the trade deadline and they were against the New Jersey Devils on March 5th and the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 9th. Bobrovsky looked to be unstoppable and gave everyone a reason as to why he should be the long-term starter between the pipes, but his team let him down and could not finish that game against the New Jersey Devils, a team that should have never been allowed to keep that game as competitive as it was. However, the Blue Jackets came back and dominated the Penguins in Bobrovsky’s next start a win they desperately needed in order to stay relevant in the playoff standings.
Joonas Korpisalo got the start against the Penguins on March 7th. Yes, Korpisalo gave up two goals, he also showed that he could potentially be a long-term solution between the pipes for a team that is looking desperate while trying to make a playoff push. However, his team let him down too. No goals scored on a night that the Blue Jackets looked to play well, Korpisalo looked amazing, but he never got help from his offense, that loss was on his teammates that night.
Keith Kinkaid has yet to play as a Blue Jacket. With two good goalies in front of him I’m not sure he will play unless injury demands it either, but it is nice to have that safety net if needed.
With Bobrovsky’s win tonight, this gives the Blue Jackets some momentum going into a tough stretch of games coming up. Bobrovsky looked great, and the team played well around him tonight and they finally beat a Penguins team that has had their number since 2017. This was a much-needed win for the morale of the team after having such a rocky start after acquiring so much talent at the trade deadline.