Are the Blue Jackets...rolling?
They very well may be.
With a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, they've matched their longest winning streak of the season at four; they take over the No. 1 wild card position in the Eastern Conference and are one point back of third-place Philadelphia in the Metropolitan Division.
It's getting interesting, and fast.
WELCOME BACK, BOB
The Blue Jackets dominated this game for long stretches, but when there were breakdowns, they were massive. Thankfully they had Sergei Bobrovsky back after a two-game absence due to illness...and he was out of this world good. The save he made in the final second (which, how does that even happen?) was ridiculous, and he made a handful of 10-bell stops in the first two periods as well. This was the kind of performance that makes you realize just how good this guy is, even when he's not as busy as he's used to being.
A so-so first period is usually bad news for the Blue Jackets considering how they struggle in the second period. Not the case tonight – they owned the middle period and took over the game. They were on the attack, repeatedly pinning the Red Wings in their own zone and even managing to change mid-shift on two different occasions. Seth Jones' pair of goals (more on him in a minute) put an exclamation point on a dominant period of hockey, one that changed the game for the Blue Jackets.
The guy is superstar-level. Not hyperbole.
He's got three goals in the last two games, including the two aforementioned tallies tonight that took a boring 1-1 game and made it a stranglehold for the Blue Jackets. He played 21 minutes and was +4 in high-danger scoring chances, which is only a small indication of how good he was in this game. Jumping up in the play, carrying pucks out of trouble...Jones did it all tonight, and really, has been doing it all for a while now. He's got 13 goals, a new career-high.
CHANCES ON CHANCES
The Blue Jackets are starting to score goals. Tonight was the first time in five games they didn't score four goals, and considering how they've struggled offensively lately, this should be classified as a good problem to have (kind of). They had plenty of chances tonight, and if not for Jared Coreau's effort in goal for Detroit, this game would have been out of hand long before the third period began.
Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson each had five shots on goal and plenty of chances, Boone Jenner had four shots and played a strong game...the puck just didn't go in for them.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
The Blue Jackets scored three goals and had eight different players with at least a point – and now, they're making their playoff push by winning five straight games at Nationwide Arena.