Three Things: Oliver Bjorkstrand Stays Hot, The Power Play (Finally) Cashes, and Another Night in the Drama of Pierre-Luc Dubois

By Rob Mixer on January 21, 2021 at 9:57 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) skates against Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37) in the first period at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports
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The Blue Jackets dropped another heartbreaker in overtime, 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in their home opener at Nationwide Arena. 

It was perhaps their most complete effort of the season, but still, not the desired result. They hung in there, answered some adversity and got the game to OT. But again, they couldn't close it out–and of course, the Pierre-Luc Dubois situation has started to simmer. 


Oliver Bjorkstrand opened the scoring 21 seconds in. That's a good sign, as his confidence with the puck appears to be building.

They need him, and they need him desperately. He's one of the Blue Jackets' few standalone offensive threats, and when he's in a shooting position, you have to feel good about what's to come. 


In this economy?

You're damn right.

Early in the third period, Jan Ruutta sat for hooking Liam Foudy and put the Blue Jackets on the power play. Normally, you'd turn away from a scene so gaudy. After all, the man advantage struggles in Columbus aren't exactly new. However, a new day has dawned. Maybe.

It's a nice play, a nice goal, and it brought the Blue Jackets level at 2-2 when they needed a spark. Nick Foligno's had a solid start to the season and, if the trend we discuss below is going to continue, they will need more from their captain.

"It's disappointing to not get the result tonight," Foligno said. 


Pierre-Luc Dubois saw the ice with 4:36 left in the first period. 

He did not see the ice again.

Just another chapter in the book about 2020-21 season, right? Yikes. Dubois did look a little lackadaisical in his last shift, a puck battle against Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson late in the first period. Whether that was enough for John Tortorella to pull the plug, we may not know. But Dubois was a spectator tonight and it's just another thing the Blue Jackets will have to hear about and talk about–whether they like it or not.

"It's hard just because you're short on the bench...that's something to ask the coaches," Foligno said. "My priority is the team. Luc's a part of that. We can't worry about who's not (playing) and who is. We didn't get the job done tonight, and it's disappointing." 

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