How’s that Matt Duchene trade looking right now? Pretty good I’d say. The Blue Jackets forward scored his first playoff overtime goal last night in double OT as the Columbus capped a comeback victory in Game 2 against the Bruins. Two games that both needed extra periods to get a decision. This series, as young as it is, has been absolutely gritty, hard-fought hockey. Artemi Panarin had two goals with Seth Jones assisting on one of them, thus proving that if this team is going to win, their stars need to come through, and come through they have.
Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky continues to be a point of frustration for the opposition making 29 saves on 31 shots, once even stopping a bouncing puck. As someone who has played goalie before (though nowhere close to Bobrovsky’s level), I can say firsthand that sometimes the ‘ground ball’ shots can be the trickiest to stop. Bob answered the call with his glove hand and did his best impression of a moving wall as he and the rest of the team prepare for the next contest.
Shots and saves aren’t the only aspects to winning a contest, though, as making sure your forecheck and backcheck games are in order. Captain Nick Foligno made a prime example of how to get this done when he laid down a solid hit on Boston center Sean Kuraly, dropping the Dublin, Ohio native in front of the boards, just behind the crease. Boston is a physical team, even dirty at times with Brad Marchand not shying away from such underhanded style of play. If the Blue Jackets want to defeat this beast of an adversary they’re facing, they need to bring that higher level of physicality to the ice.
Game 3 is Tuesday as the teams take their battle to Ohio’s capital for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff. Look for Marchand to escalate the filthy hockey he’s known for.
Here’s hoping the refs see it.