Five Thoughts: Sonny Milano Shines, Sergei Bobrovsky Continues Stellar Play, and John Tortorella Re-Shuffles Lines in Blue Jackets' OT Win

By Dan Dukart on October 10, 2017 at 11:03 pm
Bobrovsky Makes Saves

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


The Columbus Blue Jackets won a tight-checking game in Raleigh, 2-1 in overtime

It was a slow night at PNC Arena, at least for the first 50 minutes. The last 15 minutes were something else, though, and those who stuck with it were rewarded. Sonny Milano, recently demoted to the fourth line after the loss in Chicago, scored both goals in the win.

Shots were even at 20-20 after two periods, but it felt like nothing of significance had occurred. The third period started to open up a bit more, but was nothing like a frenetic overtime that saw a bit of everything. 

Here are five observations from the Blue Jackets' second win of the season:

Money Milano 

Sonny is so bored with the NHL and needs a better league. I kid, but who could have seen this coming? He's scored in each of the three games so far and has scored four of the team's eight total goals. 

Milano (and Wennberg) was late getting back on a three-on-one in overtime, but was rewarded when Sebastian Aho missed the net on a one-timer.

The youngster finds himself in rare Blue Jackets company.

Bobrovsky Outstanding 

Bob's encore to an opening night shutout? A near-shutout and absolutely dynamic play in the sudden death overtime. He's now stopped 65 of 66 pucks (.985 sv%) and moved to 2-0-0 on the season. Bobrovsky's calmness during that 4-on-3 shorthanded sequence in overtime is a luxury that most of the NHL cannot boast. Shots were 7-0 in the overtime period alone, so it's basically impossible to decide between giving the game puck to Milano or Bobrovsky. Cut this puck down the middle, folks.

Line Combos Re-Jumbled 

Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise, but John Tortorella moved his lines back around to their opening night combinations midway through the game. Wennberg was reunited on the top line with Atkinson and Panarin, Calvert was bumped to the fourth line with Hannikainen and Sedlak, and Milano was (on merit) given more ice time. Props to Tortorella for making this in-game adjustment, as it was slow sledding for the first chunk of the game. But it wasn't all good for Tortorella line deployment...

Hannikainen Turnover Stings

This piece is called five thoughts, so here's a thought: why is Markus Hannikainen on the ice with 90 seconds left to go in a one-goal game? His turnover directly resulted in Jeff Skinner's game-tying goal. In a road game, the Blue Jackets don't have last chance to change, but it's an inexcusable mistake that cost the Blue Jackets a chance at a regulation/shutout win. 

'Canes Need an Attendance Promotion, Pronto

The Hurricanes official attendance was announced at 7,892. Sure, it's a Tuesday night in Raleigh. It's not exactly a Saturday night at the United Center, but yeesh. Not to disparage the good people of the Triangle, but it was their second home game of the season. My fiancée (not a hockey person by nature) asked me if it was 'dress like a seat night'. Proud moment. 

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