Three Things: A Big Night for Elvis, A Solid Debut for the Hometown Kid, And Max Domi Arrives

By Rob Mixer on January 28, 2021 at 10:15 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets center Max Domi (16) celebrates with teammates defenseman Zach Werenski (8) after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers in the third period at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports

That's more like it.

The Blue Jackets are back in the win column after a tough loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night, giving up a goal with 2.5 seconds left before losing in a shootout. Tonight, they were much sharper. They were connected, and looked more dangerous offensively.

And, they scored a power play goal! It's true. More on that below.

Here are tonight's three things.


John Tortorella's talked about it, and Elvis Merzlikins has alluded to it as well. He hasn't been all that sharp early in the season–but he was excellent in tonight's win.

The Blue Jackets needed him, too. They were (again) guilty of some gaudy breakdowns and turnovers, and Merzlikins was there to mop up the messes. His best work came in overtime and the shootout, when he made a pair of 10-bell saves to keep the Blue Jackets in the battle.

Merzlikins had 33 saves in regulation and overtime and went 4-for-4 in the shootout, stopping Anthony Duclair, Jonathan Huberdeau, Frank Vatrano and Patric Hornqvist to lock down the second point–a point the Blue Jackets really needed.

"The guys, overall, did a great job in front of me tonight," Merzlikins said, spoken like a true goaltender. 


Imagine what Jack Roslovic was feeling heading into tonight's game.

The Columbus kid was making his Blue Jackets debut, albeit in a mostly-empty building, on a line with Nick Foligno and Cam Atkinson. He gave the Blue Jackets some energy, and got things going with a clean face-off win over former Columbus center Alexander Wennberg.

Roslovic played 14:04 tonight, won 50 percent of his draws and saw 2:03 on the power play–so you can surmise that John Tortorella had no reservations throwing the new guy right into the fire. 

"You see he can skate," Tortorella said. "He can make some plays. I want to watch him play a few games (before commenting further)."


This goal was absolutely dazzling.

Did we mention it was also a power play goal? True story.

The goal for Max Domi was a deserved reward for what was, in all likelihood, his best game in a Blue Jackets uniform. He had some jump tonight, buzzing all around the ice and the puck seemed to follow him around. 

Zach Werenski fed Domi for a teed-up one-timer off the face-off on the power play, and the goal was in and out of the Panthers net before Chris Driedger even knew what happened. 

"It's a big goal for us," Tortorella said. "(Tonight's game) was a big step in the right direction for him."

This jolt of energy was what the Blue Jackets have been waiting to see from Domi, who hasn't played his best since coming over from the Montreal Canadiens in the offseason. The transition to Columbus hasn't been seamless on the ice, but in the last couple of games, we've noticed Domi more–and it was hard to miss the rocket shot he unleashed tonight.