3 Things: Bjorkstrand Stays Hot, The Defensive Pairs Get Switched Up, and The Blue Jackets Need to Shoot More

By Jacob Nitzberg on March 1, 2019 at 11:36 am
Seth Jones gives a fan a stick after the Blue Jackets overtime win

Aaron Doster-USA Today Sports


It was a wild, back-and-forth one tonight.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers had no quit tonight, with Columbus prevailing in a 4-3 victory, thanks to an OT game-winner from Seth Jones. Jones now has the most OT winners in franchise history.

Here are tonight's three things. 

Bjorkstrand Stays Hot 

Oliver Bjorkstrand has been flying recently. He tied the game at 1-1 in the 1st period off of a nice feed from Boone Jenner, notching his 13th of the year on the power play.

With that goal, he maintained his 4-game point streak and 2-game goal streak. In recent games, Bjorkstrand's confidence, speed, and shot have all seen significant improvement, and his elevated play is an excellent sign of things to come for him and the Blue Jackets.

Rotating Pairs

The Blue Jackets' defensemen looked stagnant and were unable to clear the zone many times, both on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh and tonight against the Flyers. In the second period, head coach John Tortorella made a change to the pairings. 

This mid-game change proved to be the catalyst that the Blue Jackets needed. Scott Harrington added a critical third-period goal to put the Blue Jackets ahead, and all three new pairs looked a lot better.

Shoot the Puck

The goal of hockey is to score goals, and one usually does that by shooting the puck. Too many times tonight (and Tuesday night, for that matter), the Blue Jackets found themselves on an odd-man rush and did not generate a shot. Late in the second period, tonight on separate odd-man rushes occurring about 30 seconds apart, Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin had great looks at goal and tried to make an extra pass instead. These two both have excellent shots, and there's no reason not to use their ability and take chances at the net. Clear shots at net are not easy to produce, and they need to be taken advantage of when presented.

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