The Blue Jackets' western Canada road trip continued with a swing through Calgary. The Jackets must like the mountain air, with seven goals on Tuesday and another five here tonight. This wasn’t their best effort, but Sergei Bobrovsky was strong and they were able to get the puck in the net.
Here are five thoughts from the win:
Fourth Line Bangers
The Jackets have been rolling and getting contributions from all four lines. The top three lines get the attention for their skill and flash. The fourth line hasn’t been as good as those first three, but they have been contributors. Markus Hannikainen was inserted onto that line Tuesday in Edmonton and was held off the score sheet. Tonight he was very good and was one of the better Blue Jackets forwards. Hannikainen lead all Blue Jackets skaters with a 57.89% Corsi, and his line was responsible for the opening goal.
John Tortorella appreciated this line's effort and rewarded them late in the game, sending them out on a power play.
Who else but Dubois?
Speaking of those who get attention, how about Pierre-Luc Dubois? He got bumped down from the top line, didn’t pout about the demotion, just continued playing his game and having success. With Nick Foligno out, he’s back as the top center between Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson and has made you forget why he was ever dropped down in the first place. Dubois scored his 16th, 17th and 18th goals of the season, the first hat trick of his career.
With those goals, he surpasses Rick Nash for most goals by a rookie in franchise history. Dubois might not be a pure a sniper, but he has an incredible shot and is going to score a lot of goals in this league.
New Contract, same Player
Markus Nutivaara, fresh off of signing a new four-year deal, was his usual steady self against the Flames. He was a positive possession player relative to the team. He was on the ice for three of the Jackets' four 5-on-5 goals, including the one he scored.
The Finnish Fortress is starting to come into his own. He is playing with such confidence right now. He drives play, he’s unafraid to get up and join the rush and is starting to be a big contributor offensively.
Extinguishing the Flames
Sergei Bobrovsky just continues to do what he does best. The Jackets jumped out to a sizeable lead and then took it easy. They had a measly five shots in the second period. Calgary controlled the game with a 63.81% Corsi, and if not for Bobrovsky, this could have easily been a 5-5 game. He was marvelous, stopping all but one shot, losing his shutout right at the very end. I know Pekka Rinne is having an incredible season in Nashville, but Bobrovsky should be the Vezina winner.
Just win, baby
John Tortorella has done just that since coming to the Blue Jackets organization. Many scoffed at the idea of bringing in Tortorella when he was first hired, but he has been everything the Blue Jackets have needed behind the bench. He’s been a huge part of bringing this young team along and turning them into a team that looks unstoppable on the ice. He’s let the players do their thing, whether that be Seth Jones and Zach Werenski roaming around the ice or Panarin weaving around everyone. He’s done an incredible job and has earned those 128 victories.