Eric Robinson's Presence Looms Large on the Blue Jackets' New-Look Fourth Line

By Will Chase on October 19, 2021 at 9:05 am
Eric Robinson vs Detroit Red Wings
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Good teams always need some secondary scoring and great depth. Perhaps the Blue Jackets have some budding contributors finding chemistry.

They hope it's a sign of things to come for Eric Robinson and his linemates; Robinson scored a goal on two shots in Saturday's 2-1 overtime win against the Seattle Kraken. The second star of the game had an impressive night along with Gregory Hofmann and Sean Kuraly, who have quickly formed a fast and energetic fourth line for head coach Brad Larsen.

"It took us some time there to figure it out, got off to a slow start. Not the best game the other night for us," Robinson said. "We have to be a high-energy line. We're all pretty fast guys so we need to be moving our legs. We had a couple chances there in the second, late there, and the third so yeah, it felt good to get one there."

The trio skated 9:01 together in Saturday's tilt, combining for the club's first goal at 10:07 of the third period and a 50.00 CF%, courtesy of Natural Stat Trick. Philipp Grubauer, now 1-3-2 in seven career starts against the Jackets, was tough throughout the night but the Jackets were able to bide their time before striking on Robinson's third-period tally.

With Robinson's top-shelf finish, you can see where the play originated at the other end from the face-off circle, and Robinson was able to use his speed to get around the defender at the other end, picking up assists from Hofmann and Scott Harrington.

There might have been some pregame insight into the play of the Robinson – Kuraly – Hofmann line. 

Aaron Portzline's Sunday article in The Athletic (5 observations: Patrik Laine feels the love in Blue Jackets’ OT win over Kraken) mentions how Larsen made sure the three were on the same page prior to the game, in terms of how that line can do more than just make up a 'typical fourth line.' 

“If we’re on the same page there, we can be a really effective forechecking line, hunting D and getting right in their pockets and causing havoc for them, being able to spend minutes in the offensive zone that way,” Robinson said.

It's early in the season, but it's encouraging to see a line that has chemistry and can make a difference in the game. The Blue Jackets, a team light on difference-makers to start, may have a trio that can impact a game in several ways.