Three Things: Artemi Panarin and Joonas Korpisalo Play Hero in Blue Jackets Overtime Win Over Capitals

By Dan Dukart on January 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm
Joonas Korpisalo makes a save on Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson in the first period at Capital One Arena
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Confirmed: Artemi Panarin is still good at hockey.

For the second consecutive game, the Russian dynamo scored an overtime game winner in Ovechkin's office. The 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals gives the Blue Jackets a pair of impressive wins over two of the NHL's elite teams. 

Similar to the Predators game, the Blue Jackets were unable to hold a late lead, but were able to recover and get the hugely important two points. 

Here are tonight’s three things:

Joonas Korpisalo

Was Sergei Bobrovsky 'suspended' for a second consecutive game, or was Joonas Korpisalo simply deserving of another start? Regardless of the answer, the Finish netminder was great and made the coaching staff look brilliant. Obviously, this is a season in which the Blue Jackets have to make some big decisions, including between the pipes. Korpisalo has been inconsistent but solid in two huge wins over two of the best teams in the NHL.

Korpisalo has a reputation of being able to bounce back after giving up a goal. Having a short memory is no easy feat, but he proved in both wins that he's mentally equipped to take the next step. I'm not ready to give him the starting job, but these two games have been a nice development.

Wanted: More Panarin Billboards

That Panarin guy can really shoot, huh? For the second straight game, he used a perfect Pierre-Luc Dubois screen to beat an unsuspecting goaltender. 

His 47 points in 41 games put him on pace for a career high, and that's without considering how strong he's been in recent games. The winger has seven goals in his past 10 games (7-7-14) and is one of the most electric players in the NHL. No matter where his future may lie, it's worth trying to appreciate his brilliance while he's in Columbus in his prime. 

A Coaches Gripe

The Capitals' game-tying goal came off of a face-off. The coach in me gets unreasonably frustrated with goals against off draws, as it's one of the few times where the chaos of hockey is actually controlled for a few seconds. 

Without getting too into the weeds, on the right dot, a right-handed centerman would be on his strong side to win the puck back to the wall. If only John Tortorella had better options at his disposal than Kevin Stenlund (who, to be fair went 3-of-4 in his NHL debut) or Riley Nash. 

Nash, who was signed this past summer in part to be a right-handed center who could help win draws, has been among the worst in the NHL this season. His
43.4% is the 24th lowest percentage (or 157th best, if that's your cup of tea) among NHL centers with over 100 face-offs this season. On the left side, Brandon Dubinsky is the most reliable face-off man, but he's out for at least a week with a hamstring injury, meaning Boone Jenner is their best  option. He lost the draw, and the rest is history. To clarify, I'm not blaming Jenner, just bemoaning the situation. 

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