This, folks, is the Columbus Blue Jackets we've always wanted.
The season still isn't over yet, though, and who knows what the playoffs will bring.
However, the way the Blue Jackets' offense is firing on nearly all cylinders and Sergei Bobrovsky is looking as good as he has ever before. Plus, head coach John Tortorella may have finally found a solidified (?) set of forward lines.
This is the theme of tonight's Three Things.
Offense is ROLLING
The Columbus Blue Jackets have most offensive firepower on their roster this season they've ever had, and it's really starting to show. They've racked up 24 goals in their past fives games, and have looked good while doing it.
What's been the difference? The Blue Jackets seem to finally be settling into their identity - not trying to be too cute, getting the puck deep, and letting their cycling set up goals.
To top it off, they're getting help from all four lines. During these five victories in a row, 10 of the twelve members of the current forward lines have scored a goal. The only two on the outside looking in are Matt Duchene and Alexander Wennberg - so they've gotta be due for one each soon, right?
Officer Bobrovsky in Control
Sergei Bobrovsky is playing the best hockey of his career. The better news? The team isn't even relying on him *all* that much.
Yes, he's only allowed four goals in fives games, but the Blue Jackets have played stellar in front of him. One of the big problems with the Blue Jackets in years past is the club relying way too much on Bobrovsky to bail them out of countless mistakes. By the time the postseason rolls around, Bobrovsky is either exhausted, or teams know how to expose the Blue Jackets by taking as many shots as they possibly can.
In his past eleven starts, the Russian veteran is 9-2-0 with a .957 save percentage and four shutouts. This is good. This is very good.
John Tortorella has shuffled the Blue Jackets' forward lines continuously throughout the course of the season, but he may have found a near-perfect four lines to work with moving forward.
The top line for Columbus, currently consisting of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Cam Atkinson, continues to show out on the scoreboard. But the bottom-six continues to do the dirty work, and is actually getting rewarded for it on the scoreboard.
Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nick Foligno got on the board tonight for the Blue Jackets, and as of this current winning streak, so have Riley Nash, Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner.
Pierre-Luc Dubois still seems to need more time to get comfortable with Ryan Dzingel and Josh Anderson on the sides of him, but if that happens soon, the Blue Jackets will be ready to roll all twelve in April and May...and maybe June?
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