There goes the curtain on the Columbus Blue Jackets' points streak. A 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs marks the first regulation loss for Columbus since November 3. Let's dive into tonight's key findings.
The First Line Is Good!
Fresh off of his fifth career hat trick, Cam Atkinson kept his hot streak going tonight, potting the game's first goal and adding an assist on Pierre-Luc Dubois's tally that made it 2-0 Blue Jackets in the first. Both Atkinson and Dubois put up multi-point efforts tonight, each with a goal and an assist, while Artemi Panarin looked dominant for most of the game as well.
Atkinson and Panarin are both over a point per game as the season's first quarter closes, with 22 points each in 20 games (each player has missed one game), while Dubois is not far behind, with 19 points of his own in 21 games. Simply put, they've been outstanding. Perhaps they don't have the national-level star power of, say, Toronto's top line, but they're every bit as good.
The Fourth Line Is Bad!
We have to talk about the fourth line.
While Markus Hannikainen has certainly had his moments lately, the trio of him, Riley Nash and Lukas Sedlak was atrocious for much of the night. No moment illustrated that more than Zach Hyman's go-ahead goal. They were lost out there, and John Tortorella was not pleased.
John Tortorella was fuming after the game. Toronto's third goal really had him going.— Rob Mixer (@RobMixer) November 20, 2018
"Dumb," he said. "It's pee-wee coverage and we couldn't handle it. It pisses you off." #CBJ
Bob's Still Bob
While Sergei Bobrovsky's numbers tonight may look pedestrian, his play was anything but. After some early-season struggles, Bobrovsky seems to be rounding into form, and continued his stretch of solid play. Facing a lethal lineup and supported by, as Tortorella illustrated above, some less-than-stellar defensive coverage, Bobrovsky stood tall, stopping 22 of 25 shots in the loss.
A few of those were, of course, highlight-reel saves. Like this one on Mitch Marner.
Of course, Frederik Andersen was even better in net for Toronto, and is the reason why Columbus is leaving without a point tonight. Still, after Bobrovsky's early-season struggles, it's good to see him look so solid in net.
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