While the Blue Jackets didn't get two points last night, John Tortorella did stumble upon to a line that had great success.
With Max Domi centering Eric Robinson and Patrik Laine, the Blue Jackets have found a line that has a little bit of everything. The trio were on the ice for both of the Blue Jackets' goals against Tampa Bay yesterday, and they registered 13 shots on goal in their time together. Laine had four shots, Domi had six, and Robinson three.
"They're two skilled players," said Robinson of Domi and Laine. "I think we were all playing hard, reloading, and on the forechecks. It allowed us to play some minutes in their zone, get creative, and make some plays towards the end."
Robinson has been a mainstay in his bottom-six, left-wing role, but Domi and Laine are two players that have struggled to carve out a consistent role. Domi, especially, has bounced around from line to line and wing to center more than any other Blue Jacket this season. So when Tortorella decided to give him another chance at center last night, he ran with it. The trio looked dynamic, attacking, and notched a CF% of 56.52, the highest for any Blue Jackets line that played more than one minute.
"As a line, we made the decision that we're going to be going right from the first shift and we're going to be the difference tonight," said Domi. "Robby's such a fast guy...he got a great opportunity tonight and he made the most of it and he dominated out there...Patty, same thing. He did exactly what he was asked to, he won almost every single battle he was part of, he was in on the forecheck, and he shot the puck very well."
On Columbus's first goal, their line kept the puck in Tampa Bay's end for a considerable amount of time. They worked hard to create an opportunity, and after Andrei Vasilevskiy saved a wrister from Domi and a follow-up from Robinson, Zach Werenski was there to clean up the rebound and tie the game at 1-1.
Robinson's speed is what sets him apart as a player, but last night, his hands were on display too as he scored the Blue Jackets' second goal and Robinson's first since March 4th. The Princeton product received an excellent stretch pass from Domi, and let his wheels do the rest.
He's had a tough time finishing his chances, but tonight, Robinson was able to get one to go. Tortorella said last week that he needs Robinson to finish more of his opportunities, so to get one last night was a big step forward.
"It felt really good at the time to see it go in, for sure," said Robinson. "I was getting frustrated, so it was obviously a relief."
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