Three Things: Blue Jackets Win Regular Season Opener Behind Panarin, Korpisalo, and Werenski

By Dan Dukart on October 4, 2018 at 11:16 pm
Korpi

Rick Osentoski – USA TODAY Sports

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It wasn't always pretty, but the first game of regular season rarely is.

Nonetheless, the Blue Jackets kicked off the season with a 3-2 road overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings. The club doesn't have much time to celebrate as they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night in the club's home opener at Nationwide Arena.

Here are three things that stood out in the big win at Little Caesars Arena:


Panarin Magic

Artemi Panarin is a damn pleasure to watch. It may seem bittersweet rooting for the hero that you have a strong feeling is going to die by the end of the movie, but Blue Jackets fans should at least try to appreciate the brilliance of Panarin.

He picked up a secondary assist on the first goal of the game, then scored the overtime winner after a seemingly 10-minute shift. How was he not gassed?

The Russian star is an absolute game-breaker and there's no reason to think he won't have a monster season.

Korpisalo Excellent 

Joonas Korpisalo played outstanding. He made two sterling saves in overtime to give his team a chance, and made several other big saves in the game. He stopped 18 of 20 shots, and though he played large stretches without being tested, he came up huge when he was called upon. 

It's certainly a welcome development for Korpisalo to theoretically challenge Bobrovsky for ice time. It's well documented that this could be Bobrovsky's last season in Columbus, and Korpisalo needs to prove he's ready before he's handed over the reins.

Werenski Passes Test

Zach Werenski hasn't been truly healthy in nearly a full calendar year, but he was excellent in the win against his favorite childhood team.

Considering it wasn't a given that he would be cleared to play games in early October, coupled with the injury to Seth Jones, it's a huge win for Columbus that Werenski can log big minutes. He appeared comfortable in all situations, and he was clearly the engine on the back end of the team. He may not have contributed on the scoresheet, but it was great to see him playing injury-free. Big things could be ahead for the 21-year-old.

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