Three Things: Fourth Line Finds Its Scoring Touch As the Blue Jackets Defeat the Minnesota Wild

By Paul Berthelot on November 29, 2018 at 10:37 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones celebrates a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports
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The Blue Jackets, after a couple of weird games against the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, put forth a complete effort against the Minnesota Wild in a 4-2 win at Nationwide Arena. The top line was dangerous, a rejuvenated Oliver Bjorkstrand made his return to the lineup and some scoring from some unexpected sources led the Blue Jackets to their 15th win of the season.

Here are tonight’s three things:  

Bjorkstrand is back

Oliver Bjorkstrand was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the previous four. He was clearly motivated for this game, as he created the Blue Jackets' first great scoring chance and just kept going from there. He took control of the play when he had the puck, and was creating chances for his line mates. He was really showing the offensive potential that made him a 40-point scorer last season.  

Battle of the Folignos

Since the battle of the Folignos moved to Minnesota, it’s been Nick whose had the slight upper hand. Last season he had an assist in two games against the Wild, while Marcus was held without a point in his one matchup against Columbus. Offensively, Marcus had the slightly better night tonight; he was integral to the Wild's first goal, initially credited with tipping it. It was later determined he didn't and Markus Granlund was awarded the goal. Overall it would to be Nick who won this matchup; the Blue Jackets took the game, and while Nick's Corsi wasn't great at 46.67%, it was far better than his brother's 26.32%.   

Fourth Line Madness

The Blue Jackets' fourth line has been called into question a lot this season. With Oliver Bjorkstrand in the press box and Sonny Milano in Cleveland in favor of Lukas Sedlak and Markus Hannikainen, the fourth line is not as skilled as it could be. We know how much the Blue Jackets like that crash-and-bang style of hockey, but you need to be able to contribute on the scoresheet. Tonight they did – in a big way.

Hannikainen scored his third goal of the season to get the Blue Jackets on the board in the first. After Cam Atkinson made it 2-1 on the power play, Riley Nash extended the Blue Jackets' lead with his first goal in the union blue. For Nash, this was a huge monkey off his back. He’s not known for being a big offensive producer, but he is expected to contribute, and hopefully this game can help him find a rhythm.   

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