Three Things: Blue Jackets Cure Their Overtime Woes In the Most Unlikely of Ways, Joonas Korpisalo Impresses, And More

By Rob Mixer on October 21, 2019 at 10:53 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Gustav Nyquist (14) scores the game winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs on a penalty shot at Scotiabank Arena. Columbus defeated Toronto in overtime.
John Sokolowski – USA Today Sports

Ho-hum two points, right?

Their fourth game in six nights. Facing a team they got steamrolled by on opening night. On the road. You wouldn't have been accused of insanity if you thought the Blue Jackets would leave Toronto on the short end tonight.

But that's why they play, and also why we write and talk about it.

So, what do you know? The Blue Jackets are above .500 (4-3-2) and actually look pretty good, and handled themselves well against a high-quality Maple Leafs team tonight – a team that can score at will. Let's talk more in tonight's 3 Things.

Franchise History

Let's not bury the lede. Gus Nyquist's overtime winner, which came after being hooked on the rush, was the first OT penalty shot winner in Blue Jackets history. It was a wild overtime, too. Joonas Korpisalo stoned Auston Matthews. Pierre-Luc Dubois was stopped on a breakaway by Frederik Andersen. And Nyquist was fish-hooked from behind leading to the penalty shot, all in a matter of minutes.

And that wasn't the weirdest or most bizarre thing to come out of this game:

Korpisalo Is Rolling

Korpisalo has settled into the No. 1 job, and not by default. He was really good Saturday against the New York Islanders, and was the only reason the Blue Jackets weren't in a multiple-goal deficit after the opening period. Remember: they were up 2-0 early.

He kept them in the game and his performance got better as the game got older. John Tortorella is clearly using him as the lead guy, and Korpisalo seems to have no issue shouldering the load. This was the Blue Jackets' fourth game in six days, and they needed their goaltender to come up big.

"Korpi has played really well when we've given him games in a row," Tortorella said. "The more he plays, the better he is. I'm not gonna make a prediction on what happens, but he's handled himself very well as far as preparing for the opportunity."

The Rise of PLD

You know we couldn't resist a Star Wars reference tonight, as the glorious final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker aired on ESPN during Monday Night Football. Dubois had a dreadful start to the season. But lately, he's been up to the challenge and is carrying the top line. His first period goal, shedding Auston Matthews and taking the puck to the net, is an example of what he can do when he's playing determined and straight-ahead.

Tortorella said as much after the game. Dubois has scored three goals in his last four games and four in his last six games, which is to say he's heating up. 

"He's playing as a power forward," Tortorella said. "He just seemed fresher than some other guys. I thought he had the right type of energy. He's playing with a ton of confidence with the puck. He thinks he can beat people – and he's doing that."

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