Columbus Blue Jackets Weekly Notebook: In Great Shape
Thanksgiving week was plenty kind to the Columbus Blue Jackets, with big goals, a shutout, and three straight wins. While the streak came to a halt Saturday night, Columbus is sitting in great shape while nearly at the quarter-pole of the season.
Let's take a look at what happened last week and what's on deck in this week's Blue Jackets notebook.
Three Straight Wins
Columbus' offense came to life Monday night in a 7-4 shootout with the Buffalo Sabres. Five different Blue Jackets scored, and 11 skaters recorded a point. Jack Roslovic scored two goals and an assist for his highest point production of the season, and Vladislav Gavrikov scored his first and second goals of the season, including the eventual game-winner.
"I'm sure for Jack it's kind of a release a little bit," coach Brad Larsen said. "Goal scorers and of fensive guys, when they have a night like that, you can tell they were feeling it right away. They got more ice time, they played really well tonight. That was a good line."
The Blue Jackets went right back at it Wednesday night, cruising to a 3-0 shutout over the Winnipeg Jets. Elvis Merzlikins got the win in net, marking his first shutout of the season and the seventh of his career.
However, it was what happened at the other end of the ice that drew the eyes of many in the hockey world.
Following Andrew Peeke's empty-net goal to seal the win, Winnipeg defenseman Josh Morrissey slashed Alexandre Texier in frustration.
Morrissey was assessed a minor penalty on the play and was fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, by the Department of Player Safety.
Texier was not injured on the play, which could have been a factor in the discipline.
Merzlikins was excellent once again on Saturday night, stopping 39 shots in a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, drawing high praise from his teammates.
"Elvis gave us a chance to win," forward Gustav Nyquist said. "We didn't play up to our standards. It felt like we stole this one to be honest. We are happy. We will take any two points in the league, but we have to be much better tomorrow."
For as memorable as the first part of the week was, Saturday's game was one to forget. The Blue Jackets gave up six goals, all against Joonas Korpisalo, in a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. It was the first of four games on the current road trip.
Adam Boqvist was one of the few bright spots, with two goals and an assist in the loss. However, he's well aware of the team-first nature of the game.
"If we're going to win against St. Louis, we've got to play better overall for 60 minutes," Boqvist said. "I think this was one of the worst games of the year for us."
Columbus fell to 12-7 on the season with the loss, but the 24 total points have them tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth in the division as of writing.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday, November 30 - Blue Jackets @ Nashville Predators, 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Thursday, December 2 - Blue Jackets @ Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. Eastern
Saturday, December 4 - Blue Jackets @ Washington Capitals, 7:00 p.m. Eastern
Sunday, December 5 - Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks, 6:00 p.m. Eastern
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