Three Things: That's Why They Call Them The Blues

By Peter Fish on November 1, 2019 at 11:07 pm
Nov 1, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues center Ivan Barbashev (49) skates with the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) and goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) defend the net during the second period at Enterprise Center.
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets picked up a point in 4-3 OT loss to the Blues on Friday night.

The Blues struck halfway through the first period after Robert Thomas put one in from the net front, but the Jackets found the back of the net thanks to a solid pass by Gus Nyquist and finish by Pierre-Luc Dubois to end the period knotted at 1-1.

Six minutes into the second, a rebound off Jordan Binnington landed right on Sonny Milano's stick and he put the Jackets up, 2-1. Then the power play connected five minutes later as Oliver Bjorkstrand found twine for a 3-1 lead. But the unanswered goal issue struck again as the Blue netted three straight, including the overtime game-winner.

Let's get into tonight's three things.

Nyquist and Dubois a perfect combo

Nyquist was slotted back on the first line next to Dubois and Atkinson tonight, and it paid off at the end of the first. Driving into the zone, Nyquist drew his defender closer to him before flipping a backhand pass to Dubois out front. 

Dubois finished off the play by putting the puck top shelf over Binnington. Hopefully this is a connection that can keep on giving for the Jackets, because a playmaker is needed to feed Dubois and Atkinson in high-scoring positions. Nyquist loves having the puck on his stick and while he has no trouble shooting, he has great vision when passing.

Power play connects for second straight game

After a rocky first power play for the Jackets, they came out firing during their second chance. A few chances on net led to the puck landed on Bjorkstrand's stick and he put it in the back of the net.

It was an aggressive power play for the Jackets and something they will have to keep in mind as they move forward this season. Additionally, Bjorkstrand was in the right position near the net and ready for the puck. The goal was, at long last and after a few scoring changes, the 100th point of his NHL career.

No help for Elvis

The Blues tested Merzlikins throughout the game and when provided some semblance of a defense from he teammates, he stood tall in net. On all three St. Louis goals, the Columbus defense broke down and left a player in high-scoring areas. On the first goal, a broken play lead to the Jackets scrambling out front and Thomas scoring. On the second goal, the Jackets allowed Schenn to trail the play and get a shot off from the point. Then on the third goal, three Jackets found themselves below the goal line and despite a decent recovery, it caused Merzlikins to move out far to make the save–and the defense allowed Sundqvist to pick up his own blocked shot and score.

His performance was impressive, though, and could make John Tortorella and the rest of the coaching staff question whether they should continue to start Merzlikins, split the starts in half, or return to Korpisalo as the starter.