Three Things: Seth Jones Is Unbelievable, the Blue Jackets Hang Tough, and Hope Is Beaming After a Big OT Win

By Rob Mixer on January 2, 2020 at 9:50 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) jumps into the arms of left wing Nick Foligno (71) after defeating the Boston Bruins in overtime at TD Garden.

Just as we all expected, right?

The undermanned Blue Jackets walked into TD Garden to face the Boston Bruins, one of the best teams in the NHL, and stomped their muddy shoes all over the carpet. After a 2-1 overtime win on Pierre-Luc Dubois' 14th goal of the season, Columbus has points in 12 straight games and is very much alive in the playoff race. 

With Elvis Merzlikins holding down the net, the Blue Jackets have back-to-back wins and tonight, they took it to the Bruins – despite some nervous moments along the way – and have four points in two games since Joonas Korpisalo was injured.

Here are tonight's three things.

Seth Jones? He's Good 

Is this guy not the best defenseman in the NHL right now?

He was really good throughout this game and along with Zach Werenski, he's led the way for the Blue Jackets amidst this disastrous run of injuries that could have derailed their season. Instead, the Blue Jackets have thrived on it. 

Jones is a leader but also a dynamic player up and down the ice. All you need to do is look at his play on the game-winning goal tonight: he wins a battle behind the net, comes up with the puck, and makes the Bruins think he's going to curl back behind the net and let his teammates get a line change. Nope!

He carried the puck straight ahead and skated through the Bruins, then found Dubois on the right wing for a one-timer to end the game. Just a ridiculously good performance from Jones in what's become a season of many of them. Jones played nearly 27 minutes tonight and was asked to do a lot (he delivered).

Elvis Feeling It

Admit it: you were worried about what might happen to the Blue Jackets' hopes when Korpisalo injured his knee last weekend. We all wondered where they'd go. In two games since taking over between the pipes, Merzlikins has answered the call. 

He was magnificent tonight and stood tall against a Bruins team that can wear opponents down, and they have a cast of star players who make plays at any given moment. The lone blemish on his record tonight was a rocket one-timer from David Pastrnak that beat him clean to the glove side – but let's be real. No one's stopping that.

Merzlikins is playing like a guy who knows this rests on his shoulders right now, and how he's responded has to be encouraging for John Tortorella and also for the rest of the team.

Find A Way

Hockey's old cliche has been a rallying cry for these Blue Jackets, who seem to lose another key player with every passing game and yet continue to pile up points. 

They're 8-0-4 in their last 12 games (20 points), a run that started on Dec. 9. This current stretch is tied for the third-longest point streak in team history (Feb. 26-Mar. 22, 2013, when they also went 8-0-4).

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