The Columbus Blue Jackets from the very start of the game started strongly against the Washington Capitals. They pushed the pace and controlled territorially. It also showed on the scoreboard as well with a 5-1 win over their Metropolitan Division rivals.
Here are five thoughts from the Blue Jackets' dominating win:
It hasn't always been the best showings from defenseman Seth Jones this year, but more often than not, Jones is a difference maker on the ice. He wasn't putting up the points he once was earlier in the year, and he was still making an impact with his shot differential capabilities.
It all changed tonight when Jones put up one goal and two assists for a three-point evening. They needed a big night to continue their winning streak, and they were able to get it from Jones. The trade deadline seemed to rejuvenate the Blue Jackets, and Jones looked like a direct beneficiary.
Big Time Bob
This is what goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky does. When they need him to be solid down the stretch, no one is better than Sergei Bobrovsky at taking over games with his goaltending. Tonight he posted a .962 save percentage and stood on his head even though he didn't need to. His performance sucked the life out of the Capitals, and it made for another sensational performance.
Embarrassment of Riches
Only a week ago the Blue Jackets were concerned with what they were going to do with their forward situation. They had Jussi Jokinen and Nathan Gerbe skating regular minutes for them. They add Mark Letestu and Thomas Vanek to the team; you have a good situation going. Not to mention the fact that Nick Foligno is out with an injury, there is a lot the Blue Jackets can do offensively. This may even lead to a scratch of a big-time player if they need to make room down the stretch.
To make matters more interesting, forward Sonny Milano is making a good case to stay up with the Blue Jackets. There are choices to be made, and the Blue Jackets haven't been in a better position.
Making a Mark
Center Mark Letestu is back with the Blue Jackets. He immediately scores in his first game back. He isn't this all-world player, but he is a steadying player that the team needed in the bottom-six. The goal he scored was just a cherry on top of a great evening for him.
Letestu is going to be a big player down the stretch.
Clean Cole Energy
Ian Cole had been toiling in the press box for the Pittsburgh Penguins for many games this season. Acquired in a trade for Nick Moutrey and a future pick, Cole provided a spark to the defense and specifically David Savard. Savard hasn't been playing well this year, and this was the best he has looked in a while, and it may be Cole who deserves the credit.
The entire team played well, and it may not be much to look into, but encouraging signs are encouraging signs.