The Jackets bounced back nicely from their Friday night loss to Carolina. They looked solid against a team that made the playoffs last season. There just seems to be something about the Blue Jackets and Philipp Grubauer. The Jackets were able to get four past him and added an empty-netter for good measure.
Here are tonight’s “3 Things”
Matty Ice returns
One of the longest tenured and most beloved Blue Jackets Matt Calvert made his return to Nationwide Arena. He received a nice tribute video and ovation from the crowd during the first TV timeout. On the ice, it was business as usual. He made himself known right away throwing a hit on long-time teammate David Savard. It was a typical Matt Calvert game. He played 14:39; 4:39 on the penalty kill and had the motor running all game.
O Captain my Captain
Nick Foligno had himself a game. He scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring and then followed it up with an assist on the Jackets second goal. He completed his night scoring the Jackets fourth goal, his 16th career three-point game. The Captain is back playing the wing full time and looks much more comfortable than he did in the early parts of last season. Playing on a line with Alexander Wennberg and Anthony Duclair, Foligno can let them wheel around, and he can play a more straightforward game.
We saw that on both of his goals. Duclair did the work down low, got the puck to Wennberg, Wennberg used his vision to find Foligno who twice found the soft spots in the Avalanche defense.
Getting their legs back
The Jackets looked slow against the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes even with all their young talent still lull teams to sleep. The Jackets weren’t sharp or crisp, and it cost them. They were much better in this one. The Avalanche have fast young forwards, and they play fast. The Jackets were able to match that place and were flying around on the ice. Markus Nutivaara and Ryan Murray from the backend particularly stood out. You can see them both jumping up into the play and stretching out the ice whenever possible. Nutivaara made some nice stretch passes, while Murray made a heck of a play setting up the Jackets third goal.
A significant strength for this team is their speed; they need to be taking advantage of it as much as possible. Tonight was a great example of it.