They're a blue-collared team, and they've always been that way.
After a 1-0 victory over the reigning Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night at Nationwide Arena, captain Nick Foligno spoke to the Columbus Blue Jackets' ability to bind together after a rough patch of games on their home ice.
"You play some really good games and you don't get the result, you gotta find a way to stick with it," Foligno said.
After some some unsettling home losses as of late and their star player out of the lineup, it would've been easy for Blue Jackets players to try and win Monday's game on their own. Instead, it was a complete team win in a game as tight as they come.
"The team that breaks and tries to do it on their own or individually, it just tears you apart," said Foligno. "I'm so proud of the guys the way we answered tonight. Just a solid game again."
The Blue Jackets have struggled in closing out games this season, highlighted in their 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 11 where they allowed the tying and winning goal in a matter of one minute and 18 seconds.
But last night, they took on 14 of Vegas' 28 shots in the third period and shut the door on any comeback attempt, which John Tortorella gave much credit to his goaltender for:
"It got a little scary at the second part of that third period, that's where Bob was outstanding," said Tortorella. "It's just good to get the result where I thought for most of that game, we played really well."
"The team that breaks and tries to do it on their own or individually, it just tears you apart."
The Blue Jackets are a team that's prided itself on depth and hard work, and during tough stretches in the season where injuries come into play, you have to lean on your true identity. For Columbus to continue to grind out these tough one-goal games, they will need to keep the mindset of a blue-collar team, not a flashy, individualistic one.
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